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Influences on Parliament – The Law Commission

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Influences on Parliament – The Law Commission
What is the Law Commission?
Established by theLaw Commission Act 1965PermanentandindependentA full-time staff headed up byfive CommissionersChairpersonis aHigh Court Judge– responsible for promoting the work of the Commission and is its public face and voiceOther four members are from thelegal professions and academic lawyersAll staff arelegally trainedAim of Law Commission- S3(1) Law Commission Act 1965– role of Commission is to “keep under review all the law”
How the Law Commission Influences Parliament –Codification
Codification isbringing together all of the law (both statutory andcase law)on a particular topic into asingle Act ofParliamentDraft Criminal Codewas published in1989but has never becomelawThe Commissionhas gradually accepted that its initial plans wereover-ambitiousand thatcodification of smaller areas is preferableE.g.The Land Registration Act 2002and theFraud Act 2006have been reformed in this way
How the Law Commission Influences Parliament –Consolidation
Drawing together all the statutory provisionsrelating to a particular area intooneAct(i.enot case law)About 5 Consolidation Bills produced each yearE.g. –Education Act 1996andThe Powers of Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000
How the Law Commission Influences Parliament –Repeal
Recommends therepeal of obsolete statutes–removing lawsthat have no further useImportant to remove these Acts as they makeresearch of the law more time-consumingand causeconfusionStatute Law (Repeals) Bill in 2012recommended the repeal of nearly800old laws
How the Law Commission Influences Parliament –Law Reform
It is also necessary tosuggest changes to existing lawsand tocreate new areas of lawin response to social change and technical developmentsE.g. –Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984made occupiers of land responsible for injury to trespassers while on their land,Computer Misuse Act 1990deals with the problem of computer hacking
TheProcessof Law Commission Investigations
Commission has topicsreferred to it by government departments, ormay select a topic of its own, which will be considered after thegovernment hasapprovedPressureto investigate an area of law may also come from other sources – e.g.Criminal Attempts Act 1981was a result of a Law Commission report prompted byacademic pressureProcess:Researchof the issueProduce aworking papersetting out the current law, the problems, and suggestions for reformConsultationswith anyone interested in commenting on the issueProduce areportincluding adraft BillGovernment decideswhether to introduce the draft Bill into Parliament and implement the recommendationsE.g. – legislation which has resulted from this process includes theLaw Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act1996
Advantages and Disadvantages
Types of questions you could be asked
Describe the influence of the Law Commission on Parliament (10 marks)Briefly discuss advantages and disadvantages of the influence of the Law Commission on Parliament (10 marks)
Answering Exam Questions
Describe/Explain questions:Explain how they influence law making – use examples of statutes (laws) created/reformed as a result of the Law CommissionEvaluation questions:Explain why the particular point is an advantage or disadvantageUse evidence and examples of successes and failures





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Influences on Parliament – The Law Commission