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- fileName "Law reform"
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- Who changes the law
- Ministerial departments
- Public opinion
- Pressure groups
- Law reform agencies
The law commission (general info)
- Full time
- 5 full time comissioners - chairman high court judge
- Set up by the law commission act 1965
The law comission duties
- Keeps all English law under review
- It repeals bad and obsolete law
- Modernises and simplify the law
- Codify and consolidates areas of the law
- Consolidate - put all existing acts in one new act
- Codify - to create a new code of law, stating underlying legal principles trying to improve the law (changes law)
- However the law comission can't change the law on its own: only parliament can do that
- The government decided whether or not to enact the proposals.
Law comission procedure
- The comissioners are asked to research a topic by the lord chancellor or chooses one itself
- It consults with relevant parties and does the research
Example of consolidation
Powers of the criminal courts (sentencing) act 2000 - consolidated the provisions on the sentencing of young offenders.
Example of codification
Theft act (1968) didnt really work left gaps in the system - theft act (1978) to plug gaps in the new theft code - taking off without payment for example no paying at a restaurant when finished
Other cases by law commission
- Fraud act (2006) - reformed the law on fraud (criminal)
- Land registration act (2002) - which modernised and simplification the method of registering land (civil)
- Corporate manslaughter and corporate homicide act (2007)
- The government set it up to look at particular topics of concern to try change the law.
- Often used in disasters such as at hillsborough
- Consist of experts and ordinary people often headed by judges
- For example the royal commission on criminal procedure 1981 -passing of PACE 1984
Criminal law revision committee
Its a permanent body that issues report on a variety of criminal law - BUT not met since 1985
Law reform committee
- Part time body made up of judges lawyers and academics
- Only look at civil law abduction suggests reforms
- Eg occupiers liability act 1957
- It lacks research facilities but it is permanently funded by the lord chancellors department
Sucesses of law commission
- High average sucess rate and enjoyed great success in its first ten years - 85% proposals made law
- The work of the law commission has lead to some very important new acts of parliament
- The law commission has been successful in repealing old laws
- The law comission has successfully consolidated some areas of statute law
Failure of the law commission
- The law commission had had a much lower success rate in some decades
- It has been quite unsuccessful in codifying areas of law
- Parliament is not necessarily very interested in legislation - it doesn't gain them votes
- There may not be enough time to legislate
- The law commission has limited resources resources
- Very little reform of the criminal law - very few reports implemented
- In 1990 no law commission reports were enacted which shows either lack of need for law reform or lack of parliamentary time/interest
- Overall the success rate has dropped from 85% to 50% showing proposals are less relevent
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