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South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI)

The South Australian Law Reform Institute was established in December 2010. The Institute, based at the Adelaide Law School, is formed by an agreement between the Attorney-General of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and the Law Society of South Australia.

Report released: Provocation is no excuse and murder laws should be changed

The SA Law Reform Institute has published a report which says the use of provocation as a defence to murder should have no place in South Australian criminal law.

Download report

Consultation now open: What are your views on a legislative framework for Surrogacy in South Australia?

The Institute is inquiring into the role and operation of South Australia's surrogacy laws contained in Part 2B of the Family Relationships Act 1975 (SA) and wants your input into how these laws work in practice and whether they should be changed.

To have your say, use the link below to check out our Fact Sheets, complete a short survey, join an online discussion, send a written submission or get in touch to request a meeting.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 6 July 2018.

Get involved

Objectives and Sources for the institute's work

The functions of the institute are:

  • to conduct reviews and/or research on areas of law and legal policy specified by the Advisory Board;
  • to conduct these reviews and/or research, where appropriate on a consultancy basis;
  • to conduct reviews and research on proposals from the Attorney-General with a view to:
    • the modernisation of the law;
    • the elimination of defects in the law;
    • the consolidation of any laws;
    • the repeal of laws that are obsolete or unnecessary; and
    • uniformity between laws of other States and the Commonwealth.
  • to provide reports to the Attorney-General or other authorities on the outcomes of reviews and/or research and to make recommendations based on those outcomes;
  • to work with law reform agencies in other states and territories on proposals for reform of the laws in any other jurisdiction or within the Commonwealth; and
  • to recommend to Government on the basis of detailed and impartial research.

Sources for the institute's work

The advisory board can receive proposals to undertake projects from the following bodies:

  • The Attorney-General;
  • The University of Adelaide;
  • The South Australian judiciary;
  • The Legal Services Commission;
  • The Law Society of South Australia;
  • The South Australian Bar Association; and
  • Other representative organisations having standing in the community.

In determining which projects to undertake the Advisory Board will:

  • Take into account whether there are sufficient resources available including funds to cover the cost of the Institute undertaking the project, time frames for completion and the expected outputs of the project;
  • Consider the importance of the project to the administration of justice in the State of South Australia; and
  • Consider giving priority to such matters as may be identified by the Attorney-General as requiring legal research and advice from time to time.

Key contacts

Staff

  • Sarah Moulds (Senior Project Officer)
  • Louise Scarman (Administrative Officer)

SALRI advisory board

  • Professor Melissa de Zwart
  • The Honourable Justice Tim Stanley
  • Mr Dini Soulio
  • The Honourable David Bleby QC
  • Mr Stephen McDonald
  • Mr Terry Evans

Current projects

LGBTIQ

Review of legislative or regulatory discrimination against individuals and families on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or intersex status

Following release of the Institute's Audit Report in September 2015, the Institute released subsequent reports dealing with issues from the Audit Report which required further investigation and consultation.  These reports deal with:

Further information about the Institute, this Reference, its approach to terminology and its Audit of South Australian laws that discriminate on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status can be found in its Audit Report.

Family inheritance

As part of its broader reference relating to Succession Law, the Institute  undertook an examination of the role and operation of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (SA).  The project looked at whether the current laws that govern who can contest a will when a family member dies are working fairly or are in need of reform. 

The Institute was keen for its consultation to be as inclusive as possible.  A community consultation process was undertaken and included an online survey, community Roundtables (in Adelaide and regional areas) and the opportunity to provide written submissions.

Key documents:

Who may inspect a will

There is currently no law in South Australia governing who may inspect a will.

This report is part of the Institute's wider work into succession law reform in South Australia and was prepared in combination with the Institute's review of the role and operation of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (SA). In this Report, the Institute considered whether it may be appropriate for South Australia to adopt the model provision recommended by the National Committee for Succession Law.

Common law forfeiture rule

A review of the application of the common law forfeiture rule in South Australia.

Police powers

A review of general police powers of search and seizure.

Other resources

Past projects

Past Projects
Title Details Date

Sureties Guarantees for letters of administration (Succession project)

Issues Paper December 2012
Final Report August 2013
Modernising the Evidence Act 1929 (SA) to deal with new technologies Issues Paper May 2012
Final Report October 2012
Witness Oaths and Affirmations Issues Paper October 2013
Final Report January 2016
Privacy Issues Paper December 2013
Final Report March 2016
Wills Register (succession project) Issues Paper July 2014
Final Report October 2016
Small estates and minor succession disputes (succession project) Issues Paper January 2014
Final Report December 2016
Intestacy (succession project) Issues Paper December 2015
Final Report July 2017
Missing Persons (succession project) Final Report July 2017
Review of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (SA) Final Report December 2017
Who may inspect a will Report December 2017

Publications: reports and papers

Reports and papers

Title

Details

Date

LGBTIQ

Legislative or regulatory discrimination against individuals and families on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or intersex status

Audit Report

Appendix 1 - Audit Table of SA legislation

Appendix 2 - Submissions received

Appendix 3 - Fact Sheets

Appendix 4 - Reforms in other Australian jurisdictions

Appendix 5 - Consultations undertaken

Issues Paper - Exemptions under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA)

Final Report - Laws regulating sexual reassignment and registration of sex and gender

Final Report - Rainbow Families: Equal Recognition of Relationships and Access to Existing Laws Relating to Parentage, Assisted Reproductive Treatment and Surrogacy

Final Report - 'Lawful Discrimination': Exceptions under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) to unlawful discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status

Report: Stage 1 - 'The Provoking Operation of Provocation: Stage 1

September 2015

 

 

 

 

 

February 2016

 

June 2016

 

June 2016

 

April 2017

Succession law

Who may inspect a will

Final Report 10

December 2017

Succession law

Review of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (SA)

Final Report 9

December 2017

Succession law

Review of the South Australian laws of intestacy

Issues Paper 7 and downloadable Questionnaire (submissions are closed)

Final Report 7

December 2015

July 2017

Succession law

Management of the Affairs of a Missing Person

Final Report 8

July 2017

Succession law

Whether there should be a will register in South Australia

Issues Paper 6 and downloadable Questionnaire (submissions are closed)

Final Report 5

July 2014

 

October 2016

Succession law

Review of the procedures for administration of small deceased estates and minor succession law disputes in South Australia

Issues Paper 5 and downloadable Questionnaire (submissions are closed)

Further consultation paper

Final Report 6

January 2014

 

December 2016

Invasion of personal privacy

Considers whether there should be a statutory tort for invasion of personal privacy in South Australia

Issues Paper 4 and downloadable Questionnaire (submissions are closed)

Final Report 4

December 2013

 

March 2016

Witness oath and affirmation

Review of the form of witness oath and affirmation in South Australia

Issues Paper 3 and downloadable Questionnaire (submissions are closed)

Final Report 3

Appendix 1 to Final Report

Appendix 2 to Final Report

Appendix 3 to Final Report

October 2013

 

February 2016

Succession law

Review of sureties' guarantees for letters of administration

Issues Paper 2

December 2012

Final Report 2

August 2013

Evidence law

Modernisation of South Australian evidence law to deal with new technologies

Issues Paper 1

May 2012

Final Report 1

October 2012

Publications: annual reports

History of Law Reform in South Australia

South Australia has had a long history of law reform. Its own constitutional arrangements including recognition of Indigenous Australians, rights for women and the Torrens system of land registration are just some examples.

In the 1960s South Australia had, with Justice Howard Zelling as its Chair, a Law Reform Committee. Operating from 1968 to 1987 it produced 106 reports on various topics ranging from the Oaths Act, 1936 to Section 17 of the Wills Act, 1936-1966.

Browse the archive of Law Reform Committee of South Australia Reports (1968-1987)

In December 2010 the Attorney-General of South Australia, Vice Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, President of the Law Society of South Australia, signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the South Australian Law Reform Institute at the University of Adelaide.

The South Australian Law Reform Institute, and its members, will play a key role in improving the administration of justice in South Australia. The Institute will help modernise, simplify and consolidate laws and the administration of the justice system and, in doing so, improve access to justice for the community.
Attorney-General of South Australia, Mr John Rau.

Law Reform Committee of South Australia reports archive (1968-1987)*

The names of the reports have been abbreviated for ease of reference. The full title appears on the report itself.

Note also that the publication year does not always correspond with the number sequence for the reports.

Reports 52, 93, 98, 99, 100, 103 and 105 were not published.

Law Reform Committee of South Australia Reports (1968-1987)

No.
Year published
Report
1
(1969)
Evidence Act 1929-1968 and Children's Protection Act 1936-1961
2
(1969)
Oaths Act 1936
3
(1969)
Testator's Family Maintenance Act 1918-1943
4
(1969)
Motor Vehicles Act 1959-1968, s118
5
(1969)
Arbitration Act 1891-1935
6
(1969)
Wills Act 1936-1966, s17
7
(1969)
Animals
8
(1969)
Foreign Judgments Bill
9
(1970)
Construction of statutes
10
(1969)
Evidence Act, new part VI A: Computer evidence
11
(1970)
Women and women's rights
12
(1970)
Limitation of time for bringing actions
13
(1972)
Proposed Uniform Anatomical Gifts Act
14
(1970)
Attempted suicide
15
(1972)
Libel and slander
16
(1971)
Sealing of documents
17
(1971)
Mortgages and the rights of mortgagees
18
(1972)
Illegitimate children
19
(1971)
Adoption of Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (UK), s14
20
(1971)
Motor Vehicles Act 1969-70, s124
21
(1971)
Evidence taken out of the jurisdiction
22
(1972)
Administration bonds and the rights of retainer and preference of personal representatives of deceased persons
23
(1972)
Civil actions against witnesses who have committed perjury
24
(1973)
Occupier's liability
Interim
(1973)
Privacy
25
(1974)
Misfeasance and non-feasance
26
(1972)
Fences and fencing
27
(1972)
Wrongs Act: remarriage of a widow in assessment of damages in fatal accidents
28
(1974)
Intestacy and wills
29
(1974)
Award of costs to a litigant appearing in person
30
(1974)
Execution of civil judgments
31
(1974)
An Appeal Costs Fund Act
32
(1974)
Past records of offenders and other persons
33
(1975)
Liability under Motor Vehicles Act 1959-1974, Part 4
34
(1975)
Repeal of the Statute of Frauds and cognate enactments
35
(1975)
Standard terms in tenancy agreements
36
(1977)
Class actions
37
(1977)
Doctrines of frustration and illegality in the law of contract
38
(1977)
Proposed amendments to Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1923-1974
39
(1977)
Suretyship
40
(1976)
Powers of investment of trustees under the Trustee Act
41
(1977)
Contractual capacity of infants
42
(1977)
Proceedings against and contributions between tortfeasors and other defendants
43
(1979)
Proposed contracts review legislation
44
(1977)
Effect of divorce upon wills
45
(1978)
Competence of spouses as witnesses in criminal prosecutions for injuries causing death or serious bodily injury to children
46
(1978)
Form of oath to be used in courts and other tribunals
47
(1981)
Powers of attorney
48
(1985)
Owners or occupiers of land and trespassers on that land
49
(1980)
Proposed bill regulating company takeovers
50
(1980)
Data protection
51
(1986)
Review and reappraisal of the 25th Report (Misfeasance and non-feasance)
53
(1979)
Projected Securities Industry Bill 1980 (Cth)
54
(1980)
Inherited imperial law on property, trusts, uses, equity and wills
55
(1980)
Inherited imperial law on practice and procedure
56
(1981)
Fatal accidents provisions of the Wrongs Act 1936
57
(1980)
Companies Bill 1980
58
(1981)
Inherited imperial law on proceedings in summary jurisdiction
59
(1980)
Inherited imperial criminal law
60
(1980)
Locus standi in company law
61
(1980)
Inherited imperial law and the civil jurisdiction and procedure of the Supreme Court
62
(1980)
Company law relating to pre-incorporation contracts
63
(1980)
Motor Vehicles Act 1959, s125
64
(1983)
Wills and intestacies
65
(1981)
Inherited imperial law regarding the Crown
66
(1983)
Distress
67
(1982)
Locus standi: non-party interventions and amici curiae in civil proceedings
68
(1982)
Inherited imperial law on gaming and wagering
69
(1982)
Group defamation
70
(1982)
Locus standi: prisoners rights
71
(1983)
Doctrine of frustration in the law of contract
72
(1983)
Escheat
73
(1984)
Perpetuities
74
(1986)
Contracts Review Bill 1978, further consideration
75
(1983)
Set-off
76
(1987)
Prescription and limitation of actions
77
(1987)
Delivery of deeds
78
(1984)
Inherited imperial law 1225-1557
79
(1984)
Inherited imperial law 1558-1701
80
(1984)
Inherited imperial law 1702-1750
81
(1984)
Demise of the Crown
82
(1984)
Administrative appeals
83
(1984)
Civil actions for perjury committed in criminal proceedings and the tort of malicious prosecution
84
(1984)
Irrecoverability of benefits obtained by mistake of law
85
(1984)
Inherited imperial law 1751-1780
86
(1984)
Inherited imperial law 1781-1800
87
(1985)
Claims for injuries from toxic substances and radiation effects
88
(1985)
Problems of proof of survivorship as between two or more persons dying at about the same time in one accident
89
(1984)
Inherited imperial law 1801-1820
90
(1986)
Entire contracts and the rule in Cutter v. Powell
91
(1985)
Inherited imperial law 1821-1836
92
(1987)
Inherited imperial Sunday Observance or Lord's Day Acts
94
(1985)
Qui tam and penal actions and common informers
95
(1987)
Detinue, conversion and trespass to goods
96
(1985)
Inherited imperial law and constitutional statutes
97 Pt 1
(1987)
General rule of standing in environmental matters
97 Pt 2
(1987)
General rule of standing in environmental matters
101
(1987)
Maintenance, champerty, embracery, and barratry, malicious prosecution and abuse of process
102
(1986)
Inherited Imperial Law and statutes previously covered by the Colonial Laws Validity Act1865
104
(1987)
Proceedings by or against the Crown
106
(1987)
Effect of mistake upon contracts

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