Law Reform

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Pressure groups, law reform bodies and royal commissions all play a major roll in initiating law reform in Australia. Law reform commissions and royal commissions are set up by the Commonwealth and State Governments, where as pressure groups are groups or individuals who review the law and try to pressure the Government for law reform.

Pressure groups are social groups who aim to pressure the government into reforming certain laws that they are interested in. The interest of these groups may be about a large section of society, such as the gay and lesbian rights group, or may be an organisation, such as Greenpeace, with members hoping to benefit out of it, or the RSPCA, where members are lobbying against cruelty to animals. These groups try to pressure the government to reform, without actually being part of a political party themselves. Some examples of active pressure groups in Tasmania are the Tasmanian Greens, and the Wilderness Society.

In order for a pressure group to gain support and recognition for their cause, they may use tactics such as lobbying, handing our flyers and pamphlets and other media, conducting interviews, and staging protests in order to gain media attention. These tactics are all used in order to gain public support, as the more public support a pressure group has, the more pressure they will be able to put on the government to reform the law.

Pressure groups have been criticised in the past, as some people believe they are selfish, too powerful, and do not represent a large section of society. Some people also believe that some pressure groups have a distinct advantage over others, as wealthy businesses or individuals can spend a lot more money hiring staff and also spend a lot of money campaigning their cause. Because of this, many people find pressure groups to be ineffective, as some of their methods of getting their point across can sometimes be quite unorthodox.

Amnesty International is one of the largest and well know...
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