About Us

The Purpose of ELRI

The Economics & Law Research Institute aims to:

  • examine the way in which commercial structures, laws and taxation affect and are affected by  commercial activities;
  • raise for comment and debate, ways in which laws can or should be modified or improved to create an environment for better business outcomes, and to assist in the development of Australia’s national wealth; and
  • promote the harmonisation of laws and the strengthening of market economies in the Asia Pacific region.

The major research themes pursued by ELRI are:

  • to identify laws, legal structures and systems and taxation regimes which adversely impact on Australia’s gross domestic product and its international competitiveness, and then to consider and determine what changes should be made; and
  • to identify laws, legal structures and systems and taxation regimes in Australia and the Asia Pacific region which adversely impact on economic development and trade, and then to consider and determine what changes should be made.

Examples of ELRI’s Research Areas:


  • Business laws: Examining the effects of laws which regulate business and their economic consequences. For example, the recent red tape projects, designed to strip out unnecessary regulation, highlights the need for a wider examination of the myriad of laws impinging upon business, especially where they conflict between States and Territories.
  • Open markets: There is clear conflict between those who call for more business regulation and those who wish to free things up and let the markets determine outcomes. It may be time to review the laws which regulate business conduct (e.g. trade practices, insider trading) and to consider what tests should be used to measure their efficacy.
  • Economic reform: New industrial relations laws have, in the minds of some, serious social and economic effects. We need to determine what changes are required and what their effects may be.


  • Aged care: Laws that deal with Australia’s ageing population cover retirement accommodation, retirement facility operators and the tax consequences of retirement funds. Looking at these laws in detail will enable us to determine whether the economic outlook would be better if they were simplified and standardised across States and Territories.
  • Internet: Determining the relevancy of laws governing the use of the internet will enable us to see whether economic performance can be improved by making changes.


  • Economy: It has been suggested that Australia’s federal system is an obstacle to economic growth and higher living standards and is in urgent need of reform. We need to discover what economic benefits would flow from changing this structure.
  • Infrastructure: Much infrastructure development is in the hands of private – public partnerships. Determining whether this approach has contributed to economic growth and whether the structure should be changed, will influence Australia’s future prosperity.
  • Nuclear energy: The introduction of nuclear energy will directly affect the electricity industry and the national electricity grid. Establishing the econometric benefits for Australia, the likely tax consequences and required changes to the law will influence this debate.


  • Water: National regulation of water supplies may be required in the future, particularly where the water crosses State and Territory boundaries, such as the Murray River. A  review of the laws governing water regulation will enable fairer distribution of this resource.
  • Environmental cleanup costs: There are many financial disincentives to cleaning up or tackling environmental problems. A review of the current tax laws would establish whether this issue can be dealt with more effectively.

Politics and Sociology

  • Discovering which laws most contribute to safeguarding and strengthening our democracy enables us to identify the economic benefits which flow from their adherence. Conversely, we can also determine which laws may be undermining our most important structures.

How The Economics & Law Research Institute Works

ELRI’s projects are delivered in four key ways:


ELRI works for educational institutions, State and Federal Government departments and commercial companies. The findings produced from research topics are normally delivered in the form of training or teaching manuals.


ELRI receives consultancies from the private sector, public sector and NGO clients. The focus of research topics varies from client to client, but broadly covers the delivery of informed advice on legal and economic issues.


ELRI holds a number of contracts with publishing companies to provide informed, factual material which is used to complement various economics and law related publications, as well as co-authoring books on these subjects.

Private Research

ELRI conducts un-commissioned research on a wide range of legal and economic issues. Currently we are looking at the ageing population, advocating a uniform law commission and proposing reform of the law against perpetuities.

ELRI is an Australian company limited by guarantee.