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New opportunities for reforming the law

Date:20 JUL 2016
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The Law Commission is asking for ideas for its 13th Programme of law reform work, in a consultation opened by Chairman, Sir David Bean.

Every three or so years the Commission consults with stakeholders, asking them what should be the priorities for law reform. The consultation is open to anyone who works with or in the law or whose life is affected by it: legal professionals; academics; organisations in the public, voluntary, business and private sectors; parliamentarians, government and the public.

Launching the 4-month consultation Sir David Bean said:

'This consultation is an important opportunity to help shape the future priorities for law reform in England and Wales. We want to know about problems that make the law unfair, inefficient, out of date or inaccessible. We are asking you to tell us, where is the law not working, where has it fallen out of step with modern standards?

These are uncertain times: the referendum will almost certainly have a significant impact on the legal landscape but we must not forget that there are still many other areas of the law that cause real problems for our citizens and require urgent reform. The need for modern, simple and accessible law remains as great as ever.'

The Commission is also asking consultees for their views on a number of potential projects it is suggesting for the programme, including reviews of the law relating to:

  • surrogacy

  • weddings

  • the provision of children’s social care

  • banks’ duties to customers

  • managing public inquiries

  • tackling offensive internet communications, and

  • business, agricultural and residential leaseholds.

Areas of the law examined in the Commission’s previous programme include the rules governing the acquisition and possession of firearms, when people who lack capacity to consent to treatment can be deprived of their liberty and what happens to consumers’ deposits when retailers go bankrupt.

The consultation is open until 31 October 2016. Responses will inform the majority of the Commission’s work from 2017 to 2020.

See further Potential projects for the Law Commission’s 13th Programme of Law Reform.