Long-term legal body faces the axe in Federal budget

A KEY national body that reviews Federal Government administrative decisions in the interest of "fairness, honesty and transparency" faces the axe in Tuesday's budget.

As part of a new round of government body abolitions, the 40-year-old Administrative Review Council is set to be axed, with its functions transferred to the Attorney-General's Department.

It is run by eminent legal minds including the heads of the Law Reform Commission, Human Rights Commission and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.


Despite its crucial role, a statement from Finance Minister Matthias Cormann said the Council's abolition was part of the Federal Government's agenda to improve "efficiency, effectiveness and eliminating waste and duplication".

But legal expert, University of New South Wales' Professor George Williams, said: "It's like the law reform council, it may not be glamorous, but it plays an essential role".

Prof Williams said moving its independent functions to the department was "not an appropriate substitute".

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