U Tas law reform off the case

There is general agreement that the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute is an outstanding organisation that does an important job – just not lately

The Institute is supported by the state government, the law society and Uni Tas – where it is based. The agreement between them is up for renewal and VC Rufus Black commissioned a review which calls for  the Institute to continue – and to get on with its work, which has stopped, for want of resources. “After operating successfully for two decades, the Institute has no director, no researchers, and only an administrative officer in a 0.6 FTE position. Work on its four ongoing references has ground to a halt, as has all other work such as engaging with law reform bodies in other jurisdictions, contributing to inquiries, commenting on draft legislation and engaging students in law reform projects.”

What is needed is more money from the university (to $220 000) and state government ($200 000, which contributes just $50 000 now) and for law academics to have research for the Institute included in their workloads.

Without a director, plus research and admin support, “the Institute will only limp along and lack the capacity to complete projects in an appropriate timeframe as well as supervise researchers and students employed to work on specific projects.”