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Making law more accessible.

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26 June 2003


Australia's laws and regulations will become more accessible and consumer-friendly under legislation introduced into the Federal Parliament today.

The Legislative Instruments Bill reflects the Government's continuing commitment to establishing a comprehensive regime for the consistent management of, and public access to, Commonwealth legislative instruments.

Legislative instruments are written instruments that are made in the exercise of power delegated by the Parliament. Examples include regulations, ordinances, determinations or other written instruments that determine the law.

The centrepiece of the Bill is an electronic Federal Register of Legislative Instruments so individuals and businesses can find all the information they need in terms of legal requirements in one place.

The Register will be accessible via the Internet and anyone will be able to quickly and easily search for Commonwealth legislative instruments.

It will also include up-to-date compilations, showing the text of legislative instruments as currently in force following amendments.

Previously, people trying to work out the requirements of particular pieces of legislation had to look in different places for relevant amendments, associated regulations and other related instruments.

In addition, the Bill promotes high standards of drafting and encourages consultation before making a legislative instrument, particularly if the instrument will have an effect on business or restrict competition.

In order to reflect the important role Parliament has in scrutinising instruments, the Bill provides that instruments will need to be tabled before Parliament and the vast majority will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

The Bill also provides that legislative instruments will sunset after 10 years, ensuring that instruments will be regularly reviewed and updated and will only remain operative if they continue to be relevant.

Media Contact: Carina Tan-Van Baren (02) 6277 7300 / 0419 423 965