Senate debates

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee; Reference

3:45 pm

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Government Business in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

The government regards the work of the Australian Law Reform Commission as important to a vibrant and sustainable legal system. Dealing with the part of the motion on appointments, on 27 October 2010 the Governor-General made three appointments to the Australian Law Reform Commission. The Hon. Justice Berna Collier has been reappointed as a part-time member of the commission for a further three years. The Hon. Justice Arthur Emmett and the Hon. Justice Bruce Lander have been appointed as part-time members of the commission until 30 April 2011 to contribute to the current inquiry into improving the discovery process in civil litigation.

The government is confident that the commission’s current level of membership is sufficient to carry out its important work. The government intends to make greater use of short-term appointments to enable eminent persons who are experts in the field of inquiry to contribute to particular references, and the government will continue to liaise with the ALRC regarding the need for future appointments. In terms of workload, the ALRC currently has a full workload and is undertaking two inquiries which can be identified on the web. In terms of funding, the government must be prudent and responsible in its expenditure of taxpayers’ money. Savings measures have been taken across government as part of the government’s medium-term fiscal strategy. While the achievement of these measures is a matter for the commission to determine, the ALRC has advised that it has considered options for administrative rather than operational savings, including using alternative office locations and enhancing the use of online strategies to engage with stakeholders.

Question agreed to.


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