Discussion papers​

​​Justice Policy publishes Discussion Papers and seeks public comment on a range of issues. 

Information conce​rning any Discussion Paper where comment is currently being, or has recently been, sought is available from this page.

Mandatory disease testing 

The NSW Department of Justice invites feedback on the potential for the mandatory disease testing of people whose bodily fluids come into contact with police and emergency services personnel in NSW.

The NSW Parliamentary Committee on Law and Safety conducted an Inquiry into Violence against Emergency Services Personnel and recommended that the NSW Government consider introducing legislation to allow mandatory disease testing of people whose bodily fluids come into contact with police and emergency services personnel. 

This options paper canvasses some of the complex issues involved and also identifies four potential options for reform.

The NSW Government will consider submissions from the community and stakeholders before implementing reform in this area.

Submit your feedback via email at mdtsubmissions@justice.nsw.gov.au

Submissions close at 5pm, 31 October 2018.

Strengthening child sexual abuse laws in NSW

The NSW Government has prepared a discussion paper that identifies issues and poses questions about possible options for child sexual abuse law reform. The paper considers the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in its Criminal Justice Report, released in August 2017, and the recommendations of the NSW Parliament's Joint Select Committee on Sentencing of Child Sexual Assault Offenders.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, 6 October 2017.

Limitation periods in civil claims for child sexual abuse

The NSW Government is considering amending the Limitations Act 1969 to reduce barriers to survivors of child sexual abuse commencing a claim for compensation.

A discussion paper was released to seek community views on how the Limitations Act 1969 operates in relation to claims for child sexual abuse and whether any amendments are required.
The period for submissions is now closed.

Review of the Young Offenders Act 1997 and the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987

The NSW Government conducted a review of the Young Offenders Act 1997 and the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987. The review was conducted to ensure that these pieces of youth justice legislation continued to reflect best practice and meet the needs of young people and the community, including victims.

A consultation paper was prepared to facilitate discussion of the review and is available for download:

Review of the Young Offenders Act 1997 and the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 - Consultation Paper [MS Word doc, 1.1MB].

The consultation paper sets out data on young offending in NSW, evidence of 'what works' in addressing young offending, and international standards for youth justice.

Submissions have now closed.

Public submissions that were received are available for download:

Family Victim Impact Statements and Sentencing in Homicide Cases

 The NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice conducted consultation in relation to the Government's commitment to introduce legislation to specifically provide that courts in New South Wales may consider victim impact statements by family victims when determining an offender's sentence in homicide cases. Submissions​​ closed on 6 June 2011.

A background policy paper is available for download:

Reform of Judicial Review in NSW

Judicial review allows people to challenge the legality of government decisions. In NSW judicial review is available at common law. However, other Australian jurisdictions have established a simplified statutory right to judicial review, most notably, the Commonwealth Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (the 'ADJR Act'). The success of the ADJR Act (and the adoption of very similar legislation in three other states and territories) raises the question of whether NSW should establish a similar statutory right to judicial review. This discussion paper considers that question: Reform of Judicial Review in NSW - Discussion Paper [PDF, 278kb]

The discussion paper analyses the current operation of judicial review in NSW and reforms in other jurisdictions, with particular focus on the ADJR Act. It asks whether there is a need for reform of judicial review in NSW and if so, what are the key issues that should be addressed in any reform measures. Specifically, the discussion paper asks:

  • whether a statutory judicial review jurisdiction should be established,
  • whether any such statutory jurisdiction should be modelled on the ADJR Act, or
  • whether there are alternative options for the reform of common law judicial review in NSW.

​​The discussion paper also considers how to establish a statutory right to obtain a statement of reasons for decisions that may be subject to judicial review.

Submissions closed in April 2011.

Review of Laws Surrounding Criminal Incidents Involving the Death of an Unborn Child

 The Honourable Michael Campbell QC has completed his review examining laws surrounding criminal incidents involving the death of an unborn child. The principal question asked was whether current provisions in the Crimes Act 1900 enable the justice system to respond appropriately to criminal incidents involving the death of an unborn child.

​The Report includes an assessment of the findings of the Review of the Law of Manslaughter conducted by the Honourable Mervyn Finlay QC and legislative changes brought about by the Crimes Amendment (Grievous Bodily Harm) Bill 2005.

The Report may be accessed in PDF form:

Review of the Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process - Issues Paper December 2008

The Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process (CRP) was established after the Review of Legal and Administrative Costs in Dust Diseases Compensation Claims conducted in 2004-2005. The CRP was reviewed in 2006, after data on its first 12 months of operation became available (the 2006 Review). The 2006 Review recommended a number of minor changes to the Regulation establishing the CRP. The recommended changes commenced operation in March 2007. The 2006 Review recommended that consideration be given to a further review of the CRP, but preferably only where there had been sufficient experience using the CRP. As the CRP had been in operation for three years, it was decided to conduct that further review at the end of 2008. An Issues Paper was prepared to facilitate discussion for the Review. The Issues Paper also contains data in relation to the operation of the CRP during the 2007-08 financial year. Review of the Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process - Issues Paper December 2008 [PDF, 1208kb]. Submissions closed Friday 20 February 2009.

Fourteen submissions were received in response to the review. A number of proposed amendments to improve the operation of the CRP have been identified in light of those submissions. The proposed Dust Diseases Tribunal Regulation 2013 (PDF, 696kb) (proposed Regulation) has been prepared setting out the changes proposed to further improve the operation of the CRP. A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) (Word, 276kb or PDF, 242kb) has also been prepared examining the need for regulation and its costs and benefits.

Comments and submissions were sought on the proposed Regulation and RIS in July 2013. Public submissions are available on our regulatory impact statement page.​​