60 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014 Last revised: 7 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 2, 2014
This report presents a draft code of Australian contract law, the Australian Law of Contract (ALC) and draft Explanatory Memorandum, formulated in response to the Attorney-General’s Discussion Paper to Explore the Scope for Reforming Australian Contract Law, released on 22 March 2012. The ALC codifies the general rules of contract law, that is, the rules that apply to all contracts and proposed contracts. It replaces case law with a legislative text that simplifies and modernizes the law, and harmonizes it with the laws of other nations. Although for the most part the ALC restates existing Australian law in simplified form, it proposes some 15 reforms that would modernize the existing law and bring it into line with the laws of Australia’s major trading partners.
We suggest that the draft ALC could tangibly advance further consideration of codification as a desirable reform of Australian contract law. It would have the benefit of shifting the current debate about codification from an abstract level to one about a specific draft code. We believe that enacting the ALC would greatly increase the accessibility of contract law to ordinary Australians and reduce the cost of legal services, especially to business.
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