South Australian Law Reform Institute

The South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI), 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.

Please note: SALRI is an independent nonpartisan law reform body and is unable to give legal advice. The acceptance or otherwise of any recommendation contained in any report released by SALRI is solely at the discretion of the State Government and Parliament. SALRI is unable to answer any query relating to the acceptance or otherwise of any of its recommendations and does not undertake any independent advocacy in regard to the recommendations contained in its reports.

Media releases

Shifting the landscape of SA’s mental health laws

The independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI), based at the University of Adelaide, has made important recommendations for reforms to improve mental health laws in South Australia.

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Balancing the autonomy and the safeguarding of vulnerable adults

The independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) based at the University of Adelaide is recommending important changes to South Australia’s laws regarding how vulnerable adults are safeguarded.

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Latest news

SALRI in 2023: a fruitful year of law reform

With considerable output and impact over its 13 years of operation, 2023 has been another busy but productive and rewarding year for the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI). 

Read more about a fruitful year of law reform

Collaborative Conversations in Law Reform

SALRI takes an active role to promote enhanced links and cooperation between Commonwealth and Australian law reform bodies. There are many common issues, themes and challenges in modern law reform and ample scope for fruitful cooperation. 

Read more about Collaborative Conversations in Law Reform
  • Objectives

    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 simplification of 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 and active and inclusive consultation.
  • Sources for 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.
  • Advisory board

    • The Honourable Trish Kelly SC
    • Mr Stephen McDonald SC
    • Professor Judith McNamara
    • Mr Dini Soulio
    • The Honourable Justice Tim Stanley
    • Ms Aimee Travers
  • 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.

    Law Reform Committee of South Australia Reports Archive (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


Once reports are prepared and released by SALRI, any future use of them, including the acceptance / implementation or otherwise of any recommendations, is outside of SALRI's control and SALRI does not undertake any advocacy on the matters contained within its reports.