Why Is Law Reform Needed

By 12 december 2022 No Comments

“The MLRC also had no real authority and so, if I have to be brutally honest, we weren`t taken very seriously. To pay tribute where recognition is due, V K Liew (who was president before the last parliamentary elections) felt that the MLRC was not working and that a real legal reform commission was needed. This was supported by the majority of the committee and the current chair, Nancy Syukri [sic], also shares this view. “. to adopt and revise the whole law [of England and Wales]. having regard to its systematic development and reform, which includes, in particular, the codification of this Act, the elimination of irregularities, the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary decrees, the reduction of the number of individual decrees and, more generally, the simplification and modernization of the Act … The call for a permanent reform body in the United States dates back to at least 1917.[18] Benjamin Cardozo, the respected American jurist, also endorsed the concept in an article written for the Harvard Law Review in 1921. He proposed creating an agency (which he called the “Department of Justice”) to observe the law in action, see its effectiveness, and report on any changes needed to make improvements.[19] Legislative reform is much more likely to be universally accepted if it is carried out independently of the government and all stakeholders. At the same time, the organization carrying out the work must establish and maintain full confidence in its authority. In this regard, a Legal Affairs Committee is of particular importance because of its independence in making recommendations on legal reform. The creation of legal reform bodies separate from government is legitimately based on the assumption that good legal reform must be the product of independent reflection. There are many things that governments need to be told they will not hear from public servants.[16] Unlike most other law reform organizations, the Law Reform Commission of Ontario has had much of its research conducted by external teams of academic lawyers.[70] In the 1980s, the commission consisted of a senior legal research officer and four legal research officers. The use of external expertise was possible because there were a large number of academics in the province`s six law schools.[71] In the course of the Commission`s work, it led to further legislative reforms in the 1980s[51].

However, the German government announced in February 1992 its intention to close the Commission with five other organisations[52]. In announcing these measures, the Conservative government stated that the cuts were intended to eliminate waste through duplication.[53] The abolition of the Commission was the result of general political trends aimed at reducing the government deficit. While the Commission has been criticised for a number of factual or alleged shortcomings, its dismantling seems to be mainly due to a desire to reduce public spending[54]. An objection raised by a minority and arbitrarily rejected when the Commission was created in 1969-1970, namely that of the Agency`s costs,[55] would lead to its disappearance more than 20 years later. Quebec set up a Civil Code Revision Office in 1955 to work on the reform of all private law in the province. The main task of the Office was to evaluate the basic principles of the bodies of the Civil Code.[118] From 1955 to 1960, the office consisted of only one person. In 1960, it was expanded to four members and charged with drafting a new Civil Code. The Commission`s mandate is set out in section 3 of the Act.[63] The Commission is an independent legal reform authority composed of five Commissioners appointed by the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice. The President is a full-time Commissioner.

The other four commissioners, including the vice-chair, work part-time. Legal reform activities may include preparing and presenting cases before the courts to amend the common law; lobbying by government officials to change laws; and research or writing that helps provide an empirical basis for other legislative reform activities. 2. Raising awareness of existing laws and rights related to the SDGs – Civil society organizations should raise awareness among citizens about existing laws and/or rights, including how legislation can have a positive or negative impact on achieving the SDGs. By raising public awareness, civil society organizations are more likely to gain support for legislative reform proposals. Outreach can be aimed at both members of the general population and those in positions of power, such as members of government and the judiciary. CSOs may also want to engage diverse stakeholders – such as paralegals – to help people understand the law and their rights. The Province of Nova Scotia established the Advisory Commission on Law Reform in 1969. The Commission became operational in 1972[86]. It consisted of five to ten members, all from the legal community, and it could deal with all matters relating to law reform.

However, its activities could only continue with the support of the provincial attorney general.[87] The Commission shared support staff with a senior provincial judicial official, the so-called legal counsel, who was to be appointed Secretary and Executive Director of the Commission.[88] In 1976, the statute was amended to increase the number of members from 10 to 15.[89] Up to five non-judicial commissioners were authorized, but none were ever appointed. At the same time, the Commission recruited a full-time permanent legal research officer, using external consultants under contract and its own members acting on a voluntary basis[90]. The objectives, as set out in section 11 of the Law Reform Commission Act, were to continually review and review Canadian laws with a view to making recommendations for improvement. The Commission was instructed to remove outdated language from the legislation and ensure that it reflects the common law and civil heritage of the country. The Commission was also mandated to examine the abolition of obsolete laws and the development of new legal approaches, taking into account the changing needs of modern society. Initially, the Commission`s mandate seemed to be rather exceeded. Its first president saw the law, and therefore the Commission, as powerful instruments of social change[48]. But this self-image quickly disappeared from the public statements of successive Commission presidents as the difficulty of legislative reform became clearer. The intensity of this project increased considerably from 1966 onwards. The work was divided into 43 committees composed of three to seven lawyers, supported by researchers and experts.

Committee reports were prepared in English and French, and each study was accompanied by a commentary. These reports were distributed to interested individuals and groups for comment. A total of 64 reports were subsequently compiled into a single document on the Civil Code, published in 1978.[119] The draft Civil Code of 1978 has never been applied as such. However, the revision led to reforms in several areas, including parental authority, and served as a basis for the final efforts that eventually led to the adoption of a fully updated Civil Code in 1991. The work of this last phase was carried out on a different basis, this time without a formal structure such as a Legal Affairs Committee. All these early reform committees should keep an eye on the law. In practice, however, they have proved insufficient. They suffer from a number of constraints, including the lack of independence in the choice of reform themes, the general nature of part-time work and its limited resources. As a result, committees have been practically forced to focus mainly on the technical aspects of law and avoid more complex areas with broader social issues.[11] Although the three legislative initiatives did not receive government support, it was clear that there was a fundamental desire for a permanent legislative reform machine at the federal level.