The Federal and State Parliaments have the authority to alter prevailing laws and formulate new ones. Prior to the amendment of an existing law or formulating a new one, substantial consultation, research and planning occurs to make sure that the laws are desirable and will function properly. Some agencies listed below are tasked with the responsibility of changing laws for the better of the community.
Victorian Law Reform Commission
The Victorian Law Reform Commission is a self-governing government-funded body which initiates, oversees and coordinates law reform in Victoria. The Commission has a charter to discuss with the community and to give opinion to the Attorney-General about the methods to improve and modernise Victorian laws. The Commission’s key task is to research issues referred to it by the Attorney-General, however, it also has the authority to suggest minor changes of existing laws without any reference, through its Community Law Reform program.
Victorian Parliament Law Reform Committee
The Law Reform Committee of the Parliament of Victoria is a joint investigatory committee formed of members of the Victorian Government, the Opposition and members of both Houses. Its duty is to investigate and report to the Parliament on legal and justice matters that are referred to it by the Parliament.
Sentencing Advisory Council
The Sentencing Advisory Council (www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au) was established to link the gaps between the courts, community and government by apprising, teaching and counseling on sentencing issues. The Council’s tasks include the provision of statistical information on sentencing, including particulars of present sentencing practices; performing research and circulating information on sentencing issues; surveying public opinion on sentencing; consulting on sentencing issues; and providing recommendations to the Attorney-General on sentencing matters.
Australian Law Reform Commission
The Australian Law Reform Commission (www.alrc.gov.au) is a self-governing federal body which evaluates existing Australian laws to make sure that they offer better access to justice for all Australians, by making laws and associated procedures more equitable, updated, just and well-organised.
The Commission is not empowered to amend the law, but it can make recommendations to the government about the ways to improve the existing laws. The Australian Law Reform Commission was set up in 1975.