23 April 2012 Reform of Australian Contract Law

By Georgina King, Associate

On 22 March 2012 the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, released a discussion paper which could lead to wide-ranging review and reform of contract law in Australia.

The discussion paper was prepared by the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department. In its summary of the paper, the Department refers to several objectives it says may be achieved through reform of contract law in Australia. The objectives identified include simplifying and improving the accessibility and certainty of contract law, supporting innovation, meeting the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, harmonising State and Territory laws and facilitating cross-border trade and investments and participation in the digital economy.

The comments made by Ms Roxon regarding the review show a clear focus on the potential to simplify contract law which she described as "a red-tape burden" and "a complex mixture of common law, legislation, international agreements and the content of contracts themselves."

To assist it in deciding whether further action should be taken, the Department has called for submissions from any interested parties regarding the problems experienced by those involved in contracting with other businesses or individuals and the potential for reforms to address those problems. The deadline for submissions to be made is Friday 20 July 2012.

A copy of the discussion paper can be viewed on the website of the Attorney General's Department.

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This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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