Mini Topic: Law Reform

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Law Commissions Act 1965

The Law Commission has four main responsibilities:

  • To systematically keep all English law under review
  • To codify and consolidate areas of law
    • Brings together the law on one topic into one source of law.
    • On average, five Consolidation Bills are produced each year.
  • To receive and consider proposals for law reform, and consult relevant parties.
  • To propose areas for reform.

How does it perform the role?

  • It researches a particular area
  • Publishes a consultation paper that seeks views on the reform
    • This describes the current law, sets out the problems, and looks at reform.
  • Draws up proposals for reform, and possibly a Draft Bill.
  • Government decides whether to make the proposed reforms.
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Is the Law Commission successful?

  • Limited Success due to a lack of Parliamentary time
    • Removing the crime Blasphemy from the law was suggested in 1985 - but didn't happen until 2008.
  • Has made some changes.
    • Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996 implemented changes to the law which before stated a person could not be convicted of murder if their victim died more than a year and a day after the attack.

In 2009

  • The Law Commission carried out consultation on the admissibility of expert evidence in court.
  • Produced a report and Draft Bill on the defence of 'intoxication' in criminal law.
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