Law reform process

The process followed by the Commission during an inquiry can vary depending on the scope of the terms of reference and how much time the Commission has to complete it. In general, the process involves the following stages:

  1. The Commission receives a reference from the Attorney-General or begins a community law reform project. The terms of reference of the project define its scope. 
  2. Commission staff begin to research and consult. This is background work to help the Commission identify the most important issues.
  3. An expert panel / consultative committee is formed to provide advice to the Commission on the subject of the project.  The expert panel provides input but does not formulate recommendations, which is the role of the Commission.
  4. A consultation paper is published with questions about whether the law should be reformed and how, calling for the community to make submissions to the inquiry. In some cases the Commission also publishes information papers providing background and explaining the issues.
  5. The Commission holds consultations with affected parties and interested members of the community across Victoria, especially with disadvantaged and marginalised groups.
  6. Submissions are received and considered. Submissions are the views of the community about what should be done. Anyone can make a submission, as an individual or on behalf of an organisation. Submissions can be made online, in writing, or by speaking to a staff member. They will be published online unless they are marked confidential.
  7. The Commission writes a report, including recommendations to reform the law and/or make changes to procedures. 
  8. The Commission delivers the report to the Attorney-General.
  9. The Attorney-General tables the report in Parliament within 14 sitting days. After this the report can be published on the Commission's website.
  10. The government decides whether to introduce new legislation, and Parliament decides whether the legislation is accepted, amended or rejected.

The 'Law Reform - Our Process' wall poster sets out a visual representation of our process.  Email the VLRC to request your free posters.

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