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​Open justice review

Call for submissions

Publication date: Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The NSW Law Reform Commission is inviting preliminary submissions to the review of laws that regulate access, disclosure and publication of information in NSW courts and tribunals. 

The laws generally seek to ensure fair justice and the privacy and safety of court participants while also promoting transparency and a greater understanding of the justice system, where possible. 

The open justice review comes in the context of concerns expressed in NSW and elsewhere in Australia about the operation of the existing laws, particularly in the digital environment.

The review will consider the operation of suppression and non-publication orders to determine if the current laws strike the right balance between the proper administration of justice; the rights of victims and witnesses; the right to a fair trial; privacy and confidentiality; public safety and public interest, and commercial interests and national security. 

The review will also cover: 

  • If suppression and non-publication orders are effective in the digital environment, and whether there are appropriate alternatives
  • If technology can be used to facilitate access to court and tribunal information 
  • The impact of information access regimes on the operation of NSW courts and tribunals 
  • The appropriateness of laws that prohibit the identification of children and young people involved in civil and criminal proceedings
  • The findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse regarding the public interest in exposing child sexual abuse offending.

The review will also look to comparable legal and practical arrangements in other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas.

Preliminary submissions will help frame the issues that should be addressed in consultations. The deadline for preliminary submissions is Friday, 31 May 2019. One or more consultation papers will be produced later in 2019. This robust public consultation process is a crucial part of developing reforms to information laws in NSW. 

For more information, including the review’s terms of reference and how to make a submission, visit the NSW Law Reform Commission website

The NSW Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory body that provides expert law reform advice to Government on matters that are referred by the Attorney General. The Commission undertakes research, consults broadly, and reports to the Attorney General with recommendations for reform.

The NSW Law Reform Commission is inviting preliminary submissions to the open justice review.