On Thursday 31 January 2013, the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) released its first Final Report: Modernisation of South Australian Evidence Law to Deal with New Technologies at an official launch held at the University of Adelaide.
The launch was hosted by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington and was attended by Mr John White, President of the Law Society of South Australia, Professor Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean, Faculty of the Professions, and the Hon. Chris Kourakis, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
At the launch, Professor John Williams, Dean of the Adelaide Law School and SALRI Director presented this report to the Attorney-General and Deputy Premier, the Honourable John Rau MP, and gave him a copy of the Institute’s first Issues Paper in the SALRI succession law reform project (Dead Cert: Sureties’ Guarantees for letters of administration).
The Deputy Premier welcomed the report and acknowledged the historic nature of this launch as the first independent law reform report produced in South Australia since the South Australian Law Reform Committee made its final report in 1987. The new Law Reform Institute’s Report recommends ways of modernising South Australia’s evidence laws to make it simpler and less burdensome to adduce evidence in court of information that is generated, stored, reproduced or communicated by a modern technological process or device and to accommodate future, as yet unknown, technologies. The Deputy Premier said the advice and reforms suggested by the Institute will ‘help improve our laws and, ultimately, the way in which our justice system serves the community.’
Also attending the launch were members of the SALRI Advisory Board: the Hon. Justice Gray, the Hon. David Bleby QC, Professor Rosemary Owens and Ms Ingrid Haythorpe; along with Helen Wighton, Deputy Director of SALRI and the author of both reports.
The Hon. Justice Nicholson of the Supreme Court and Mr Nigel Wilson, Senior Lecturer, Adelaide Law School represented members of SALRI’s Evidence and Technology Reference Group. Mr Ray Frost, senior partner of the law firm Treloar and Treloar, represented the SALRI Succession Law Reference Group.
Also present were several students from the 2011 Law Reform course who contributed to these law reform projects as part of their studies: Anna Bulman, Nicola Caon, Jonathan Davies, Patrick McCabe and Richard Sletvold.
The South Australian Law Reform Institute was established in December 2010 by agreement between the Attorney-General of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and the Law Society of South Australia. It is based at the Adelaide University Law School.
The Evidence Final Report (and the Issues Paper which preceded it) and the Issues Paper on Sureties’ Guarantees are available for download free of charge from www.law.adelaide.edu.au/reform/publications
Photo: The Hon Justice Gray, The Hon. John Rau MP (Deputy Premier and Attorney-General of South Australia), Professor Warren Bebbington (Vice-Chancellor, University of Adelaide), Professor John Williams (Dean of Law and Director, South Australian Law Reform Institute)
Photo: Adelaide Law School academics, Kellie Toole, Nigel Wilson and Gabrielle Appleby