The Law Commission
Composition:- Chairman - High court judge - support staff including researchers.
- 4 Law commissioners - Senior/ experienced/specialised lawyers (professionals)
Set up by the Law Commission Act 1965
Role:- "to keep under review all the law"
They make proposals to:
- To modernise and develop the law by making new law.
- To codify the existing law - To consolidate the law
- To repeal old/obsolete laws
Method of working:- Selection of area to be reviewed; may be identified by Government or LC
-Detailed research of the law; working paper sent for consultation seeking views on possible new law.
- Final report: - making the final reccomendations for new law reform - with draft bill attached.
-The final report may be fully implemented/ partially implemented by legislation or rejected/abandoned.
-Groups/organisations formed to represent particular causes/interests.
-Can bring pressure on the govt to change/make new laws or promote the cause/interest.
- Or they can fight to resist changing the law; to protect their cause/interest.
Two types of pressure groups:- Causal or Sectional
Causal:- exists to highlight/promote particular cause: e.g- Greenpeace or NSPCC
Sectional:- exists to highlight/promote interests of particular group/sector or people: e.g- NUT
- Lobbying MPS- pressure by group on individual MP; to support/oppose proposed legislation; to draw Parliament's attention to particular Issue; To propose legislation ono particular issue.
-Consultations eg with Law Commission - Publicity through Media
Public opinion/ Media
- Consider the types of media:- Newspapers; TV; Radio; Magazines.
- The importance of public opinion to parliament is high because they are the people who it will be affecting.
-Media as a means of informing Parliament and the public. They have the ability to voice both sides to both parties.
- Media as means of expressing of public opinion
- Increasing importance of Public consultations.
Examples of the media influecing Parliamentry Law Making:- Sarahs' Law
- Consider:- Each MP belongs to a political party, and the party with the Majority of MPs forms the government, the government then proposes new legislation.
- Therefore:- Government majority should ensure proposals are enacted.
- Paper published by each political party before the General Election
- identifies and explains party's policies/objectives - if elected
- party which forms government introduces laws to implement manifesto during 5 years of Govt.
Consider how government influences parliamentry law making:
- control of parliamentry timetable - Excercise of the guillotine
-use of party whip
-majority in comittee