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The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) received Terms of Reference on 19 May 2014. The ALRC released an Issues Paper and called for submissions on 10 December 2014. Submissions closed on 27 February 2015.
An Interim Report was released on 3 August. In the 2nd consultation document for this Inquiry, the ALRC was asked to review Commonwealth laws that encroach on traditional rights, freedoms and privileges (Freedoms Inquiry). Traditional rights include such fundamental freedoms as freedom of speech, religion, movement and association; and other important rights and privileges such as property rights, client legal privilege, the right to a fair trial, and access to the courts, to name a few. The Terms of Reference list 19 such rights, freedoms and privileges to consider.
In the Interim Report, the ALRC discussed the source and rationale of these important common law rights, freedoms and privileges, and discusses how they have been protected by theConstitution, the Parliament and the courts. The Interim Report also provides an extensive survey of current Commonwealth laws that limit traditional rights, freedoms and privileges and considers how such laws may be justified.
The ALRC invited submissions in response to this Interim Report and, in particular, submissions identifying Commonwealth laws that warrant further review. The closing date for submissions was 21 September 2015.
The joint Councils for Civil liberties in Australia made a submission to this Inquiry.
The Final Report was tabled and launched in Canberra by Attorney-General the Hon George Brandis on 2 March 2016.