Review to simplify Australia’s corporations and financial services legislation announced

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has been tasked by the federal government to undertake a review of the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation in Australia. The review is part of the federal government’s response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

The ultimate aim of the review is to facilitate the simplification of the notoriously complex laws currently regulating corporations and financial services in Australia. In this regard, Attorney-General Christian Porter stated:

“The review will provide a principled blueprint for a more efficient, navigable and adaptive legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation that would allow industry and consumers to more easily understand their rights, obligations and the intent and effect of the law."1

The ALRC will conduct its review in a staged approach and focus on three sub-topics. Each sub-topic will be the subject of an interim report that is due before the release of a consolidated final report on 30 November 2023. A summary of the sub-topics and reporting timelines is shown in the table below.

The ALRC has been asked to consult widely and produce consultation documents to ensure experts, stakeholders and the community have the opportunity to contribute to the review. The ALRC has not released any details in relation to the consultation process at this stage.

The Terms of Reference for the three-year review can be accessed here.

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