The Commission’s publications inform the community, ask for public input, and report our recommendations.
All inquiries have a consultation paper and a report. Some projects also have background papers, position/options papers and/or an interim report.
Background papers (also known as occasional papers) are published when information the Commission needs is lacking. We commission experts to research and write about a specific issue or question to help the Commission’s own research.
The first publication to be released in most projects is the consultation paper (sometimes called an issues paper).
This is usually written before we embark on initial consultations. The consultation paper includes questions that people can use as a basis for their submission or consultation discussions.
Consultation papers include a deadline for submissions, usually one to two months after the release.
The Commission must deliver a report to the Attorney-General at the end of an inquiry. Once a report is given to the Attorney-General, it must be tabled in Parliament within 14 sitting days.
Reports contain recommendations to change the law or processes and procedures. The recommendations are decided on by the Commission as a whole. The Commission’s deliberations are influenced by consultations, submissions and research.
After a report is tabled, the Commission publishes it on its website.
Interim reports are produced at the Attorney-General’s request and are tabled in Parliament before being released to the public. Not all inquiries will publish an interim report.
Some interim reports will also contain questions and will call for submissions on the interim recommendations.
Interim reports can be about an entire inquiry or just one aspect of it, such as the Stalking: Interim Report which focussed on the police response to stalking.
Position papers and options papers are released when the Commission wants feedback on interim recommendations or preferred options.
They include interim recommendations and questions and usually call for more submissions.
There will also be discussion of the submissions already received and research undertaken since the consultation paper was released.
Plain English summaries
Some of the Commission’s reports are long and detailed because the issues are complex.
In some cases the Commission produces summaries where it thinks a lot of people will be interested in the recommendations.
In these summaries, discussions are kept brief and the language is less legal and technical.