Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Law reform – Law Commission protocol

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As discussed in the book, proposals for reforming the law made by the Law Commission do not always find their way onto the statute book. Issues seen as important by lawyers are not necessarily seen in the same light by politicians and their official advisers. To address this issue, the Law Commission Act 2009 now requires the Lord Chancellor to report annually to Parliament on the progress of recommendations from the Commission.

The new legislation is now supplemented by a protocol agreed between the Government and the Commission (mentioned in Sir James Munby’s podcast) designed to ensure closer collaboration between government and the Commission.

Under the protocol – laid before Parliament at the end of March 2010 – Government departments will:

  • give an undertaking that there is serious intention to take forward law reform in the relevant area of law
  • keep the Commission up to date on developments in policy that may impact on its proposals
  • provide an interim response as soon as possible or in any event within six months of the Law Commission publishing its proposals and a full response as soon as possible or in any event within a year.

The Law Commission will:

  • consult departmental ministers about potential law reform projects in their areas
  • support all its final reports with an impact assessment
  • take full account of the minister’s views in deciding whether and how to continue with a project at agreed review points.
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Written by lwtmp

April 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

Posted in Chapter 4

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