South Australian Law Reform Institute

The South Australian Law Reform 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.

Latest news

Decriminalisation not deregulation for SA abortion laws

The independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) based at the University of Adelaide has recommended major changes to South Australian abortion laws in its report to the Attorney General published today.

Read more about Decriminalisation not deregulation for SA abortion laws

Report released which clarifies and recommends improvements to the current system, in order to most appropriately allow and facilitate lawful domestic surrogacy for South Australians.

The Report makes a total of 69 recommendations which clarify and improve the current system to most appropriately allow and facilitate lawful domestic surrogacy for South Australians and, crucially, to protect the best interests of a child born as a result of surrogacy. 

The government has developed a draft Surrogacy Bill 2018, reflecting some of the recommendations in SALRI 's report. Further information is available on the SA Government’s YourSAy site. 

Download report

  • 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 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 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

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