The progress of the ALRC review

30 December 2022
| By Laura Dew |
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Not only is there the Quality of Advice Review taking place this year, a second legal review into financial services legislation is also happening.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) was inquiring into the simplification of laws that regulated financial services in Australia, specifically focused on the Corporations Act (2001).

November 2021

A first interim report focused on the appropriate use of definitions in corporations and financial services legislation.

December 2021:

The ALRC proposed to rename ‘general advice’ and ‘personal advice’ to distinguish more clearly between the different regulatory regimes.

March 2022:

In a background paper, Risk and Reform in Australian Financial Services Law, the body noted the ‘Byzantine complexity’ of legislation and the divergent and varied approaches to risk that had accumulated over the last 20 years, resulting in inadequate legislation.

May 2022

Speaking at a conference, ALRC president Justice Sarah Derrington, who was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honors, said the review’s work would lead to long-term gains for the economy through better compliance, less litigation and better dispute resolution structures. 

September 2022

A second interim report focused on regulatory design and hierarchy of primary law provisions, regulations, class orders and standards. This related to technical simplification, simpler law design, enhancing navigability, proposed legislative model and offences and penalties.

December 2022

In submissions to the second interim report from industry stakeholders, the Financial Services Council strongly opposed giving ASIC more control in legislation creation while the industry was divided on its support for a ‘rules advisory committee’.

June 2023

In June, the ALRC appointed Justice Mordecai Bromberg as its new president, taking over from Justice Sarah Derrington who departed after five years. During her term, she had led the ongoing inquiry into financial services legislation.

August 2023

Interim Report C explored restructuring and reframing financial services legislation to enhance its navigability and comprehensibility. The existing structure had been identified as “significant sources of unnecessary complexity” within the legislative framework, the ALRC said, which resulted in increased costs for regulated entities and consumers. 

November 2023 

A final report will be released by ALRC in November 2023. 


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