Role of the Law Commission

The Law Commission was set up in 1965 by the Law Commisson Act. Under S3 (1) of the Law Commission Act its job is to keep the law under review. It is the only independant, full-time and government funded body to perform this job. Five commissioners sit on the Law Commission. One is a chairman who is usually a high court judge and the other four are legal experts such as a solicitor. Each commisioner has their own support staff and parliamentary draftsmen. The Law Commission either picks an area of law and then seeks government approval or the goverment can refer them to an area of law such as Criminal Law. They research the area in detail and then issue a consulation paper which includes the current law, the problems with it and the possible options for reform. This allows for interested parties and the public to give feedback and express their ideas. After the response, the Law Commission issue a final report which includes the firm proposals of law reform. They usually attach a draft bill along with the final report in order to show Parliament how exactly the law should be made. If to become law it goes through the Parliamentary law-making process. Examples of a law that was made due to the Law Commission is the Bribery Act and the Law Reform (Year and a day rule). The Law Commission also plays a role in codifying and consolidating the law. They bring together all the law under one topic into one act and all the statutory provisions relating to one area under one act. The Sales of Goods Act is an example of a law codified by the Law Commission. The Law Commision also simplify and modernise the Law. For example the Fraud Act 2006 was simplified. The Law Commission also identify obsolete laws that are no longer used and bring them to Parliaments atttention so Parliament can repeal those acts.