The Tasmania Law Reform Institute is the premier law reform body in Tasmania. It was established on 23 July 2001 by a founding agreement (PDF 67.4 KB) between the State's Government, University and Law Society. It is based at the Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania, within the Faculty of Law. The Institute is run by its Director, Dr Brendan Gogarty, with assistance and advice from its Board. The agreement between the Government, University and Law Society was most recently updated in 2019. Refer to TLRI Renewal of Agreement 2019 (PDF 320.8 KB).
The establishment of the Institute follows an extensive history of law reform in this state.
LAW REFORM COMMISSION 1974-1989
In 1974 Tasmania established its Law Reform Commission. The Commission received references from the Attorney-General and its reports were presented to the Parliament. The Commission was chaired for the majority of its existence by Mr Bruce Piggott. It also comprised representatives of the government, Law Society, Bar Association and the Faculty of Law. In addition there were two community members. It produced approximately 50 major reports on a wide range of topics. Most of the Commission's reports resulted in the introduction of legislation.
LAW REFORM COMMISSIONER 1989-1997
In 1989 the multi-member Law Reform Commission, for financial and political reasons, was replaced by a single Law Reform Commissioner. Mr Henry Cosgrove QC, formerly Justice of the Supreme Court and Professor Don Chalmers of the University of Tasmania held the office of Law Reform Commissioner consecutively until 1997. Some 20 reports were produced during this period, The government did not extend the sunset clause in the legislation and the office lapsed in mid-1997.
DIRECTOR OF THE LEGAL AID COMMISSION 1997-2001
The functions of the Commissioner were given to the Director of the Legal Aid Commission, until the establishment of the current Institute in 2001.