The Law Comission

Information regarding the Law Commission 

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Parliamentary Influences The Law Commission Unit
1AI
The Law Commission is a permanent and
independent law reform body. It was established by
the Law Commissions Act (1965) in which its role
is stated as to "keep under review all the law"
(section three, subsection one). The Law
Commission is made up of five commissioners, one of whom is the chairman each has
a team of barristers, solicitors, parliamentary draftsmen, researchers and administrative
staff. The chairman is a judge from either the High Court or the Appeal Court and the
other four are experienced judges, barristers, solicitors or teachers of law that are
appointed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice for a period of up to
five years although this can be extended.
The Law Commission reviews areas of the law they see as in need of change either
because they are too complicated making then inaccessible, out of date or simply
unfair. They follow a research process and consult with other bodies before producing a
report to recommend their changes to parliament. Parliament then decides whether or
not to make the amendments suggested because the Law Commission doesn't actually
have law enforcing power.
The Law Commission can recommend changes to the law in three ways:
Codification: organises an act to make it more understandable, producing a
hierarchy of offences or a series of statutory codes.
Consolidation: brings together under one act of parliament all existing statutes
relating to one issue that had previously been separate acts.
Repeal: abolishes obsolete laws which are no longer necessary.
The first stage of this process is research conducted on the issue in question, once the
research is complete a working paper is produced this includes the current law,
recognised problems within the law and suggestions for change. The Law Commission
then consults with anyone who wishes to comment on the issue before producing a
report to present to parliament which will include a draft bill.
The Law Commission in Action
The Law Commission is currently working on its eleventh programme of law reform
which covers a section on the Offences Against the Person Act (1861). The Law
Commission says in the programme that this act is regarded as our of date due to its
use of archaic language and its Victorian approach of listing separate scenarios many
of which are no longer applicable to society for example section seventeen regards an
"offence of impeding someone endeavouring to save himself from a shipwreck". The act
is a also criticised because of its lack of a hierarchy of offences. The Law Commission
is therefore suggesting that the law be codified given a hierarchy of offences so that it
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Parliamentary Influences The Law Commission Unit
1AI
is easier for a citizen to understand and easier for a court to apply it as well as having
some sections of no use to present day completely repealed.
They influenced parliament to pass the Computer Misuse Act (1990) which created
new offences to deal with issues such as computer hacking.…read more

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