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Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement

The submission on the Attorney-General Department’s Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement: Public Consultation Paper and Regulation Impact Statement (Consultation Paper)1 was prepared by the Law Council. The Law Council is grateful to its Business and Human Rights Committee, its National Human Rights Committee, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Law Society of New South Wales for their assistance in the preparation of this submission.

The Consultation Paper outlines a model for the Government’s proposed reporting requirements. Notably, the proposed model would require entities with annual revenues of $100 million or higher to report on four mandatory criteria. Modern Slavery Statements prepared by entities would be compiled in a central registry, and there would be no sanctions for reporting entities that failed to produce a Statement. The Consultation Paper also sets out twenty-four discussion questions about the proposed model, which the Law Council has addressed in this submission.

The Law Council also notes the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s (Committee) inquiry on Establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia’s (Modern Slavery Act Inquiry) interim report, which has provided ‘in principle’ support for ‘mandatory annual modern slavery supply chain reporting requirements to apply, above a particular threshold, to companies, businesses, organisations (including religious organisations) and Governments operating in Australia’.2 The Law Council encourages the Government to take into account the relevant findings of the Committee’s final report prior to finalising its proposed model for supply chain reporting requirements.

The Law Council generally considers the Government’s proposed reporting requirements to be appropriate. In particular, the Law Council commends the Government for seeking to improve on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (UK) (UK MSA) by making the reporting criteria mandatory and providing for the establishment of a central registry for modern slavery statements.

You can read the full submission below.

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