Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Law Reform

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Two Bills which received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009 are relevant to the procedures for introducing law reform measures recommended by the Law Commission.

First, the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009 implements a Law Commission report published in 1999! It deals with a highly complex and detailed set of rules designed to prevent property being tied up for ever (with the risk that it becomes less economically useful than it might be). From our point of view, what is interesting about the Bill was that it used an experimental procedure designed to ensure that ‘non-controversial’ Law Commission Bills got through the Parliamentary process more quickly. These had been agreed by the Law Commission and Government in 2006.

What the Bill demonstrated is that even technical ‘non-controversial’ measures can quite easily become controversial.

In addition, the Law Commission Act 2009 also received Royal Assent. This requires the Lord Chancellor to report to Parliament annually on the progress of Law Commission reports and should ensure that its recommendations do not simply get lost in the government machine as does currently happen.


Written by lwtmp

November 20, 2009 at 10:09 am

Posted in Chapter 3

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