This chapter focuses on legislative innovations that purportedly respond to perceived social problems. Just as liberals, sociologists, marxists, feminists, critical legal scholars and postmodernists have different views on the role of law in society, it follows that they have different views on why particular legal rules might have been established. Contemporary law reform processes often reflect the pluralist model of legal change. The second part of the nineteenth century saw the introduction and reform of divorce legislation in the Australian colonies. Divorce in the colonies was practically impossible before the 1860s. The colonial divorce reforms of the 1890s occurred alongside the early development of conciliation and arbitration systems for the resolution of industrial disputes. Australia and New Zealand are distinguished by their adoption of compulsory conciliation and arbitration systems. In July 1993 the Victorian government became the first Australian government to introduce a legislative response to the High Court’s decision in the Murray Islands case.