27 March 2015
The Ministry of Justice announces the appointment of the Rt Hon Lord Justice Bean as Chairman of the Law Commission and the re-appointment of Professor David Ormerod QC as Law Commissioner for criminal law for a further five years.
20 March 2015
A consultation exploring whether aspects of charity law can be reformed to remove unnecessary regulation while safeguarding the public interest in ensuring that charities are properly run.
11 March 2015
We have opened a consultation, seeking views on options for reform that would simplify and clarify the law relating to enforcement of family financial orders, and make it easier for the courts, practitioners and the public to use. The consultation closes on 11 July 2015.
09 March 2015
On 9 March we announced the start of our work to reform firearms offences, with a view to clarifying and simplifying the law and making it easier to understand and use.
06 March 2015
Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Law Commissioner for property, family and trust law, has been appointed Principal Judge of the Land Registration Division of the First Tier Tribunal, and will take up her post in summer 2015.
Congratulating Professor Cooke on her appointment, Law Commission Chairman Sir David Lloyd Jones said: "In her seven years as a Law Commissioner Professor Cooke has made a major contribution to the work of the Law Commission and to law reform.
"Professor Cooke's work in family and trust law has paved the way for reforms that have brought real benefits to many people's lives. The projects she has led on easements, rights to light and conservation covenants, to name a few, have the potential to greatly improve the law of property for all its users, and her work on the electronic communication code could be a powerful influence on the shape of Britain's digital future.
"We are enormously grateful to Professor Cooke, and wish her well in her new post."
16 February 2015
The Infrastructure Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 12 February, giving effect to species control orders, as we recommended in our 2014 report Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-native Species.
12 February 2015
The Insurance Bill received Royal Assent on 12 February, implementing reforms recommended by the Law Commissions of England and Wales and of Scotland in their 2014 report on Insurance Contract Law.
26 January 2015
On 26 January we launched our work on codifying the entire law relating to sentencing procedure. Our aim is to introduce a single sentencing statute that will act as the first and only port of call for sentencing tribunals.
09 December 2014
This consultation seeks views on how the laws relating to elections can be rationalised and simplified.
04 December 2014
We have published the final report on our project examining the law relating to rights to light.
20 November 2014
A report recommending reforms to the law relating to kidnapping, false imprisonment and child abduction.
12 November 2014
A scoping consultation, exploring potential options for reforming the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
03 November 2014
Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, has announced that the Government has accepted the majority of the recommendations we and the Scottish Law Commission made in our 2013 report on level crossing law.
Acknowledging Baroness Kramer’s letter of acceptance, Chairman Sir David Lloyd Jones said: “We welcome the Department for Transport’s response to joint recommendations of the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission for reform of the regulation of level crossings. We are particularly pleased to see that Baroness Kramer has committed the Department to preparing a timetable for implementing reform, which will be published by the end of this year.
“We look forward to safety at level crossings being brought entirely under the umbrella of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and a clearer emphasis on those responsible for safety carrying out risk assessments and doing the work necessary to reduce risk as far as reasonably practicable. A better balance between the convenience of the railways and the convenience of non-rail users of level crossings will make it easier to improve safety.
“We also look forward to seeing the outcome of the Department’s investigations on how best to improve the system for closing level crossings to make it more efficient and transparent to reach a decision that is in the public interest.”
Also welcoming the Government’s response, Ian Prosser, Director of Railway Safety at the Office of Rail Regulation ORR) said:
“Great Britain's level crossings, although among the safest in Europe, pose a significant rail safety risk to the public and level crossing safety is a top priority for ORR. The Law Commissions’ report represents the culmination of a significant amount of hard work and includes beneficial recommendations to reform the law in this important area.
“We are pleased, therefore, that the Department has accepted the majority of the recommendations and has made a commitment to develop an action plan by the end of 2014 setting out how further work associated with their implementation will be taken forward.
“ORR looks forward to working with the Department on the safety related recommendations and helping develop and deliver the action plan. If, as part of this, alternative proposals are put forward, we will look to ensure that they meet the spirit and intention of the original Law Commission recommendations wherever possible.”
24 September 2014
The release of a paper setting out our recommendations on social investment by charities, as part of our ongoing project on selected issues in charity law.
19 August 2014
We are pleased to welcome Stephen Lewis to the Law Commission to lead our work on commercial and common law.
Mr Lewis, who joins the Commission on 1 January 2015, is an experienced city solicitor. For the last 10 years he has been a consultant at Clyde and Co, working within the firm’s international insurance and reinsurance group. He joined Clyde and Co after almost 20 years as a partner at leading "magic circle" practice Clifford Chance.
Mr Lewis has over 30 years' experience working in litigation and dispute resolution and, since 1983, has been primarily focusing on insurance and reinsurance. He has been a member of the Committee of the British Insurance Law Association since 1995 and was Chairman from 2010-12.
Welcoming Mr Lewis, Chairman Sir David Lloyd Jones said: “We are delighted that Stephen Lewis will be joining us at the Law Commission. We have recently launched our 12th Programme of law reform and I have no doubt that his extensive knowledge and experience will prove invaluable as he leads our commercial and common law work and takes forward our important new projects.
“The Law Commission celebrates its 50th anniversary next year and we are particularly pleased that Mr Lewis is able to join us at this exciting time.”
23 July 2014
Following extensive consultation, we have launched our Twelfth Programme of Law Reform. The programme includes nine projects: Bills of sale, Firearms, The form and accessibility of the law applicable to Wales, Land registration, Mental capacity and detention, Planning and development control in Wales, Protecting consumer prepayments on retailer insolvency, Sentencing procedure and Wills.
17 July 2014
Report from the Law Commissions of England and Wales and of Scotland making recommendations for reform to modernise business insurance law. The majority of these recommendations are included in the Government’s Insurance Bill.
11 July 2014
Report recommending a full-scale, UK-wide law reform project to modernise, simplify and clarify the law relating to data sharing between public bodies and the organisations that are increasingly carrying out public functions.
01 July 2014
Report responding to concerns raised in the 2012 Kay Review that uncertainty about their legal duties leads investors to focus on short-term movements in share price rather than making long-term investment decisions based on the fundamental value of a company.
24 June 2014
A report recommending a new statutory scheme be established to allow landowners to ensure the long-term conservation of features on their land such as forests, habitats and historic buildings.
28 May 2014
A report examining whether the current hate crime offences under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and Public Order Act 1986 should be extended to bring equality of treatment across the five characteristics.
23 May 2014
A report recommending reforms that would update the law that governs how taxis and private hire vehicles operate and make it clearer for those working in the taxi and private hire trades and their passengers.
14 May 2014
The Care Act received Royal Assent on 14 May, bringing into force our important recommendations for reform of adult social care. The Act implements over 95 per cent of our 2011 report, Adult Social Care, which recommended the most far-reaching reforms of adult social care law seen for over 60 years.
Law Commissioner Nicholas Paines QC said: "We are delighted that the Care Act has received Royal Assent. Together with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, which received Royal Assent on 1 May, this puts in place a coherent framework to govern the provision of adult social care across England and Wales.
“The new Act replaces over 65 years of piecemeal legislation. It places personalisation on a statutory footing for the first time, gives new legal rights to carers and introduces a new legal framework for safeguarding vulnerable adults. It will streamline and modernise a system that has its roots in the poor law, clarifying rights and responsibilities for older and disabled people and local councils, and improving the position of carers.
"We are very pleased that the Department of Health and the Welsh Government accepted our recommendations and acted so swiftly to implement these important and much-needed reforms.”
14 May 2014
The Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014, giving effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.
14 May 2014
The Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014, implementing in part the recommendations made in our report, Intestacy and Family Provision Claims on Death.
24 April 2014
We are opening a consultation seeking views on changes to the law that governs how charities make social investments. The consultation paper analyses the legal framework, explains the ways in which the law already supports charity trustees and proposes changes that would clarify the way in which charities can use social investments to achieve their charitable aims.
02 April 2014
A report recommending a single UK-wide legal framework for the regulation of health care professionals in the UK and social work professionals in England
26 March 2014
In the second of our reports on Contempt of Court, we recommend that a new online service be established to help journalists and publishers reporting criminal trials discover whether reporting restrictions are in force and, if so, why.
20 March 2014
Government concluded its Triennial Review of the Law Commission and published its Stage Two Report on 20 March 2014.
Chairman, Sir David Lloyd Jones, said: “Triennial Reviews are part of the process by which Government departments scrutinise arm’s-length bodies. The Law Commission has stood up well to this scrutiny and we are pleased to note that the Government has formally recognised the continuing need for the Commission’s existing functions.
“The review also acknowledges the value that our many stakeholders place on the independence and impartiality of the Commission, and confirms that our non-departmental status is the most appropriate model for maintaining this independence.
“Since the Law Commission was set up in 1965, our recommendations have led to wide-ranging, profound and enduring changes in the law. Fifty years later, the need for a principled and strategic approach to law reform remains as strong as ever. We are delighted that the Government considers the Law Commission – in both form and function – to be the most appropriate body to continue this vital work.”
27 February 2014
We have published a report recommending a set of measures to make it easier for couples to manage their financial affairs on divorce or at the end of a civil partnership.
11 February 2014
19 December 2013
Our Bill to modernise and simplify the law governing co-operative and community benefit societies has been introduced into the House of Lords.
09 December 2013
In a report published today we make recommendations to reform elements of the law governing contempt of court.
12 November 2013
“All of us at the Law Commission are greatly saddened by the death of our colleague Gianni Sonvico. Gianni was a valuable and well-liked member of the Commission. He was a friendly and charming colleague and talented lawyer, who had the potential to make a significant impression on the legal world. Gianni’s death is a great loss. His friends and colleagues at the Law Commission will miss him, and our thoughts are with his family.”
Sir David Lloyd Jones, Chairman, and Elaine Lorimer, Chief Executive
07 November 2013
We are pleased to welcome Nicholas Paines QC to the Law Commission to lead our work on public law.
Mr Paines, who joins the Commission on 18 November 2013, is a leading silk in EU and public law. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court, a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) and the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and a Recorder in the Crown Court. He is also a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland.
Chairman Sir David Lloyd Jones said: “Mr Paines is highly experienced and well respected throughout the legal profession. We are delighted that he is joining us. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable in taking forward our law reform work in public law.
“I am also delighted that David Hertzell has been re-appointed as Law Commissioner for commercial and common law for a further year. Since his appointment in 2007, Mr Hertzell has led many law reform projects for the Commission, including our far-reaching and comprehensive programme on the reform of insurance law, with significant success.
“This is an exciting time for the Law Commission; we expect to commence work on our new programme of law reform in 2014, and it will be of great benefit to the Commission that Mr Paines and Mr Hertzell will be with us.”
25 October 2013
We have agreed with the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office to undertake a review of certain aspects of the law governing mixed-purpose social investment by charities as part of the Selected Issues in Charity Law project.
We will consider whether reform is necessary to clarify the powers and duties of charity trustees in making mixed purpose investments, in particular whether a specific statutory investment power should be introduced for this purpose. We will also consult on the creation of a new legal power to spend non-functional permanent endowment on mixed-purpose investments.
Law Commissioner Professor Cooke said: “New initiatives around social investment are raising a number of questions for charities. As part of our current project examining selected issues in charity law, and within the parameters of the current law on private benefit, we will explore options for law reform to clarify charity trustees’ powers and duties in relation to mixed-purpose investments. We expect to open a consultation on the project in summer 2014, and will welcome stakeholders’ views on all of the questions under consideration.”
22 October 2013
Consultation reviewing the obligations on investment intermediaries to act in the interests of savers.
15 October 2013
We have released an interim statement, setting out our initial thinking on the scope and content of the new regulatory regime for wildlife.
26 September 2013
In a consultation launched today, the Law Commission for England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission invite comments on the draft Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Bill as it stands at 26 September 2013.
25 September 2013
In a report published today, we recommend reforms to the law to improve the safety regime for level crossings, provide a new procedure for the compulsory closure of level crossings and clarify rights of way across railways.
16 September 2013
The Law Commission is reviewing the current legal framework on data sharing between public bodies to identify whether the perceived obstacles are such as would require changes in the law to overcome.
06 August 2013
Government has announced its intention to implement the reforms recommended in our report, Consumer Redress for Misleading and Aggressive Practices, published jointly with the Scottish Law Commission in 2012.
30 July 2013
The Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Bill was introduced into the House of Lords today, implementing the majority of the reforms we recommended in our report Intestacy and Family Provision Claims on Death.
23 July 2013
We have published a discussion paper examining the rules governing the defences of insanity and automatism.
02 July 2013
We have launched a consultation, seeking ideas for projects for our next Programme of Law Reform.
27 June 2013
Launch of a consultation asking whether there is a case for reforming the law so that existing hate crime offences apply in the same way to sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability as well as race and religion.
12 June 2013
The Law Commission welcomes the new Consumer Rights Bill published today, which incorporates many of our recommendations.
24 May 2013
Law Commissioner Frances Patterson QC has been appointed to be a Justice of the High Court. Welcoming the announcement, Sir David Lloyd Jones, Chairman of the Law Commission, said: "I am delighted at the announcement this morning that Frances Patterson QC has been appointed a Justice of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, with effect from 1 October 2013. This news has brought great pleasure to all her colleagues at the Law Commission, tempered only by our sadness at her departure from the Commission where, as Commissioner leading the public law team, she has driven forward a number of particularly demanding projects with great skill. We are very grateful to her for her outstanding contribution to the Commission and all join in sending her our warmest congratulations."
09 May 2013
Following its announcement in the Queen's Speech on 8 May 2013, the Care Bill was introduced into the House of Lords by Earl Howe on 9 May 2013. The Bill implements almost all the recommendations we made in our 2011 report on Adult Social Care.
08 May 2013
The Care Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 8 May 2013.
As well as dealing with the Dilnot Commission recommendations on funding, the Bill implements important Law Commission law reform recommendations.
Law Commissioner Frances Patterson QC says: "We are delighted that the Care Bill has been announced in the Queen’s Speech. The Bill implements almost all of the recommendations that we made in our 2011 report on adult social care. These include streamlining and modernising a system that still has its roots in the poor law, clarifying rights and responsibilities for older and disabled people and local councils, and improving the position of carers.
"The recommendations place the individual at the heart of a reformed legal framework for adult social care. We consulted extensively on our proposed reforms. From the start, they received a great deal of support from the people who use adult social care services and the individuals and organisations who design and provide those services.
"We are very pleased that the government has accepted our thinking and acted so swiftly to implement these important and much-needed reforms.”
A Bill to implement our recommended reforms to adult social care is currently before the National Assembly in Wales.
17 April 2013
We are consulting on the groundless threats of infringement and asking whether they are causing problems and, if so, how they can be brought up to date.
10 April 2013
We have published an analysis of responses to the provisional proposals put forward in our consultation paper on Unfitness to Plead.
09 April 2013
We are recommending reforms to the rented housing market in Wales that would introduce two new, uniform contracts for the social and private housing sectors
09 April 2013
In an interim statement, we have announced our early thinking on reforms for the taxi and private hire trades.
28 March 2013
We have opened a consultation asking whether England and Wales should adopt conservation covenants.
26 March 2013
We have started work on this new project investigating what the current law requires pension trustees, investment managers and other financial intermediaries to consider in deciding an investment strategy.
21 March 2013
Government has accepted, in part, the recommendations we made in our report Intestacy and Family Provision Claims on Death.
19 March 2013
The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission have today recommended reforms to provide better protection for consumers from unfair charges in small print.
28 February 2013
We are recommending reforms that will bring the Electronic Communications Code up to date with modern technology while continuing to balance the rights of landowners and the public demand for modern communications services.
18 February 2013
We are seeking views on how the law related to rights to light can provide an appropriate balance between the important interests of landowners and the need to facilitate the appropriate development of land.
31 January 2013
09 January 2013
The Secretary of State today announced a review of the Law Commission.
The review is part of a rolling three-year Cabinet Office programme designed to assess the form, function and governance of non-departmental public bodies.
Chairman of the Law Commission, Sir David Lloyd Jones, said: “This review provides us with a welcome opportunity to hear from many of the people and organisations who have a stake in our law reform work and learn from them what they think of the Law Commission and the way in which we conduct our business. It will give the Commission itself a valuable opportunity to set before Government and the citizen the vital work we do in keeping the law of England and Wales as fair, modern, simple and cost effective as possible.
“We encourage all our stakeholders to participate in this review.
“Triennial Reviews are part of the process by which Government departments scrutinise arms’-length bodies. We have been working with the Ministry of Justice on their preparations for this review and will continue to work closely with them as it progresses.”
The consultation is open from 9 January until 6 February 2013.
07 January 2013
The Statute Law (Repeals) Bill, which derives from our 19th Statute Law Repeals report, completes its passage through Parliament.
07 January 2013
The Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill has passed through all its parliamentary stages and is awaiting Royal Assent. The Bill derives from our report: Capital and Income in Trusts: Classification and Apportionment.
19 December 2012
We have recommended to Government that the offence of scandalising the court should be abolished and not replaced.
14 December 2012
We have started a new project to consider whether two existing groups of offences dealing with hate crime should be extended.
11 December 2012
Publication of a report setting out the scope of a forthcoming review of UK electoral law. Conducted jointly with the Scottish Law Commission and the Northern Ireland Law Commission, the review aims to reform the law relating to elections and referendums across the UK.
28 November 2012
Launch of a consultation to ask whether the existing law on contempt of court continues to work effectively in light of the challenges posed by new media and the way these are used by the mainstream press and, increasingly, by citizen journalists.
11 September 2012
Following our 2012 consultation on marital property agreements (“pre-nups”), we have opened a supplementary consultation on needs and non-matrimonial property.
14 August 2012
Launch of a consultation relating the law governing the management of wildlife.
10 August 2012
We have launched a consultation asking whether the offence of scandalising the court should be abolished or retained but modified and, if so, how.
25 July 2012
The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission are consulting on proposals to protect consumers from unfair terms hidden in small print.
18 July 2012
Launch of a scoping exercise to establish how, in the criminal law of England and Wales, the defences of insanity and automatism are working, if at all.
11 July 2012
The Government has published a response to the recommendations we made in our Adult Social Care report and has issued a draft Care and Support Bill that substantially implements our recommendations.
28 June 2012
Consultation seeking views on how the Electronic Communications Code is working for those who use it, and what can be done to make it more transparent and user-friendly.
26 June 2012
A consultation from the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission proposing a new law to make clear what businesses must tell insurers when they buy insurance and asking whether the law of warranties requires updating.
21 June 2012
Our 46th Annual Report, charting the challenges and achievements of 2011-12. The final report from Sir James Munby as Chairman of the Commission.
15 June 2012
We have launched a consultation on electoral law, seeking views on which of the rules governing elections and referendums should be reviewed.
10 May 2012
We invite comments on the provisional proposals in our consultation paper.
26 April 2012
We welcome the appointment of our new Chairman, the Honourable Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, with effect from 1 August 2012.
04 April 2012
A report recommending the repeal of more than 800 old laws that are cluttering up the statute book. Our statute book is littered with dead law from down the centuries. Obsolete provisions from the 1600s and earlier continue to survive long after they have ceased to serve any useful purpose.
28 March 2012
In a report published today, we are recommending that consumers should have a new legal right of redress against traders that carry out misleading or aggressive practices.
01 March 2012
In a consultation opening today, the Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are seeking views on how the regulation of health care professionals in the UK and social workers in England can be made clearer, simpler, more modern and more consistent.
06 February 2012
The Law Commission is to conduct a targeted review of two aspects of the law that entitles married couples and civil partners to claim financial provision from one another on divorce or dissolution of their partnership.
20 December 2011
In this consultation we examine a number of areas of insurance contract law that impact on small businesses and families.
14 December 2011
In this report, we make recommendations to bring inheritance law into line with the needs and expectations of modern families, and simplify the law to help the bereaved deal with the property of a deceased family member.
09 December 2011
The Law Commission is pleased to announce that Justice Edwin Cameron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa will be giving the 4th Leslie Scarman lecture, "What you can do with rights", in London on 25 January 2012.
28 September 2011
The Law Commission today opens a consultation to clarify the law on kidnapping. Under the existing law it is not enough simply for a victim to be taken away – a number of other conditions need to be met, and several parts of the definition are ambiguous.
19 July 2011
The Commission has published its Eleventh Programme of Law Reform, which will form a substantial part of our work for the next three years. We will also continue to work on projects from previous programmes, as well as projects referred by Ministers, advice to Government, statute law repeals and consolidation of legislation. See Work of the Law Commission 2011-2015.
14 July 2011
In a report published today, the Commission recommends reforms to the five public services ombudsmen that will make it easier for citizens to complain if they receive poor public services.
08 June 2011
In a report published today, the Law Commission recommends reforms that will simplify and clarify the laws that govern relationships between neighbouring plots of land. The Commission’s proposals will make it easier for the people who develop, mortgage, sell and buy land to identify and manage the rights and responsibilities that attach to it.
17 May 2011
The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Bill was introduced into Parliament on 16 May 2011. Originating from our joint project with the Scottish Law Commission, the Bill clarifies the law that governs what consumers should tell insurers when they take out a policy.
11 May 2011
In a report published today, the Commission is recommending the most far-reaching reforms of adult social care law seen for over 60 years.
12 April 2011
We invite comments on the proposals in our consultation paper.
31 March 2011
We have published an analysis of responses to the 57 provisional proposals put forward in our consultation paper.
22 March 2011
Following our recent consultation exercise, we have published a report recommending changes in the law relating to the admissibility of expert evidence in criminal proceedings.