Celebrating ten years of SA law reforms
For the past ten years the work of the independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) has led to landmark changes to the state’s laws. Today, Tuesday 26 October, SALRI’s work, which has benefitted many sectors of the community, is being celebrated at a reception hosted by Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia.
Based at the University of Adelaide, SALRI has made a valuable contribution to law reform and the administration of justice in South Australia during its operation.
“SALRI’s reports have been accepted by successive governments and parliaments and led to major legislative changes since its establishment,” said Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.
“The ground-breaking work of some of the best legal minds in the state has had a direct impact on improving the lives of many South Australians and I am very appreciative of the colossal contribution that Professor John Williams has made to this exemplar of putting academic expertise into furtherance of society’s objectives.”
Highlights of SALRI’s work include:
- Removal of legislative discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, intersex status or gender, including the legal registration of sex and gender, equal recognition of relationships and access to existing laws relating to parentage;
- Defences in criminal law better suited for victims of family violence;
- A Relationships Register;
- Abortion law reform that has especially benefitted people in regional and remote communities;
- Elimination of the outdated homosexual advance defence and the wider defence of provocation to murder;
- An improved legal framework for surrogacy in South Australia; and
- Evidence law to deal with new technologies.
“SALRI’s reports have been accepted by successive governments and parliaments and led to major legislative changes since its establishment.”Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.
Draft Bills have recently been introduced or tabled on:
- Common Law forfeiture Rule;
- A right of privacy and new civil action for serious breach of privacy; and
- Succession Bill to modernise and update the law and covering issues such as intestacy, family inheritance, a will register, administration of small estates and minor succession disputes and surety guarantees.
In December 2010, the then Attorney-General of South Australia, the Hon John Rau SC, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and the President of the Law Society of South Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the South Australian Law Reform Institute.
The University of Adelaide’s Professor John Williams, founding and current Director of SALRI said landmark changes to the state’s laws have been undertaken in consultation with people from all sectors of the South Australian community.
“Independence and impartiality and quality and breath of research are crucial features of SALRI,” he said.
“SALRI places a high priority on active and inclusive consultation, especially regional and rural and Aboriginal communities.
“Our work would not have been possible without the engagement, support and contributions from all the people who have used their diverse skills and experience to help us improve the state’s laws over the last ten years.”
SALRI is unique in that it includes enthusiastic contributions in its work from the students of the Law Reform class at the University of Adelaide. The class plays an important role in supporting SALRI’s work.
SALRI’s tenth anniversary celebrations were postponed from last year due to Covid-19.
Crispin Savage, Senior Media and Communications Officer, University of Adelaide. Mobile: +61(0)481 912 465, Email: email@example.com