Governance body hits out at ‘ad hoc’ reform proposals

23 January 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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The Governance Institute of Australia is calling for the establishment of an independent body to advise on market law reform.

Last week, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) published its final report into financial services legislation, including how the Corporations Act 2001 could be redesigned to help financial advisers find their relevant obligations.  

This includes the grouping of financial advice provisions together to make it easier for users to locate, navigate and understand the law that applies to financial advice.

This is the first time the Corporations Act has been reformed on a large scale since its introduction more than 20 years ago, and it currently excludes matters that have emerged since then such as cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence.

The body said a specific law reform body is needed to help implement these changes rather than laws being changed on the basis of ad hoc reforms suggested by “specialist interest groups”.

Instead, an expert and independent body will be better able to deliver holistic structural reforms to drive productivity and support economic growth and jobs, it said.

Governance Institute of Australia chief executive, Megan Motto, said: “Australia can no longer afford to take a reactive corporate law reform approach based on complaints from specialist interest groups proposing ad hoc law reforms.

“Recent law reform proposals are often driven by ministerial-led directions rather than from detailed policy development. This top-down process does not meet the needs of modern corporate law frameworks as the scope of reform is narrowed and focused on specific issues.”

“Reform is crucial in order to keep pace with international peers and attract global business investment that will deliver jobs and growth to Australia.”

The Governance Institute of Australia is a national organisation that advocates for a community of governance and risk management professionals.

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