Making a submission into the Australian Law Reform inquiry into Justice Responses to Sexual Violence

What: The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is conducting an inquiry into justice responses to sexual violence. 

When: Submissions will remain open until Friday, 24 May 2024.

Why:  The ALRC seeks submissions from a broad cross-section of the community, as well as those with a special interest in the Inquiry. These submissions are crucial in assisting the ALRC to develop its recommendations. The ALRC’s recommendations will aim to ensure that people who have experienced sexual violence and their families are properly supported when they seek help, and that the justice response minimises the extent of any re-traumatisation.

How to make a submission

Preparing to make a submission

The ALRC has posted two relevant documents speaking to the scope of the inquiry and the kind of responses they are looking for, you may want to acquaint yourself with these resources. They are fairly long documents, so don’t feel like you need to read them in full, but they are here for you to refer back to:

  1. The terms of reference - this details the scope of the inquiry and what it will cover.
  2. The issues paper -  this contains a number of questions to help guide submissions.

How to write your submission

Written submissions must be in a format that can be uploaded. We recommended a word doc or PDF format to be able to upload your submission into the government portal.

Some of the options you may consider for structuring your submission are to write:

  1. A letter entirely written from your individual perspective.
  2. A template submission, utilising the commissions provided questionnaire.
  3. A formal submission, detailing your recommendations to the commission with analysis that follows.

Option 1: Writing a letter

You might choose this option if you want to convey information highlighting your expertise and/or experience related to justice responses to sexual violence, without using a set structure or responding to specific questions. If you already have a good idea of what you want to write then this option could be for you.

Option 2: A template submission

The commission has put together 56 questions that ask individuals to speak to their experiences of a range of areas relating to justice system responses to sexual violence. If you choose this avenue, you aren’t expected to answer every question, we recommend that you have a read and copy and paste the relevant questions into a separate document that apply to you and your experience.

You can download the questions in a word doc here, and answer any questions the commission has asked.

Option 3: A formal submission

You might choose to make a more formal submission if you want to make a case for the problem and solution to governments based on your personal or professional experience. In this case we recommend: stating your recommendations at the top of your submission, and then speaking to the problems that the recommendations you are trying to address solve for in the text that follows.

Speaking to Fair Agenda’s campaigns in your submission

If you want to highlight Fair Agenda’s campaigns relating to justice responses to sexual violence, we have drafted some copy for you to draw on. You may choose to copy and paste this into your submission or pick and choose text which suits your submission points. We have also included the question number our campaigns relate to if you are choosing to use the ALRC template. You can download Fair Agenda’s pre-written copy for your own submission here.

How to send your submission

Once you have finalised your submission you can upload it via the government website here. Submissions will remain open until Friday, 24 May 2024.

Things to consider


You will need to decide whether you want your submission to be confidential or not. You will be required to notify the ALRC when uploading your submission. The ALRC has made the following statements in regards to confidentiality:

“If a submission discloses a person’s experience of sexual violence and the submission is not a confidential submission, the ALRC will publish the submission, but it will redact any information that may identify the person who has experienced sexual violence.”

“If you wish for your submission to be published with information that identifies you as someone who has experienced sexual violence or as a complainant in legal proceedings, please select the relevant checkbox when uploading your submission.”

Identifying information

You may need to consider if any identifying information in your submission could impact on parts of your submission being published. The ALRC has made the following statements:

"The ALRC wishes to respect the ability of people to identify as having experienced sexual violence and to share their experiences in a submission. However, different laws generally restrict how and when some information can be published if it would identify a victim survivor, a complainant in legal proceedings, or a person accused of committing sexual violence."

"The ALRC will not publish parts of a submission that would identify any person accused of committing a sexual violence offence. The ALRC may publish information that would identify a person who has been convicted of a sexual violence offence where the person’s identity has otherwise been publicly disclosed."

To read more about the ALRC's policies relating to submissions click here.

Support to write your submission

Support is available for those who need via the commission.  If you need their support to make a submission you can contact them. This includes: 

  • If you want assistance in making a written submission.  
  • If you would prefer to make a verbal submission.  
  • If you need the support of an interpreter.  
  • If you need a referral to a service provider who can help you make a submission.  

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 0456 972 868, 9 am–5 pm (AEST) Monday–Friday 

Support services

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic, family or sexual or violence, help can be found via: 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or via which offers a national counselling helpline, information and support. For counselling, advice and support for men who have anger, relationship or parenting issues, you can call the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.

1 comment

Liz Hadjia Liz Hadjia 2024-05-15 15:39:55 +1000