NEWS RELEASE: EMBARGO: 6 PM MONDAY 17TH DECEMBER 2007
Law Reform Commission Publishes third programme of law reform 2008-2014
Programme contains 37 areas of law to be examined
Monday, 17th December 2007. The Law Reform Commission publishes its Third Programme of Law Reform 2008-2014 today. The Programme will be formally launched by the Attorney General, Paul Gallagher SC, at 6 pm.
THE COMMISSION’S ROLE AND PROGRAMMES OF LAW REFORM
The Commission is an independent statutory body established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975. Its principal role is to keep the law under review and to make proposals for reform, in particular by recommending the enactment of legislation to clarify and modernise the law. This role is carried out primarily under a Programme of Law Reform, which is prepared by the Commission, approved by Government and placed before the Oireachtas.
OUTLINE OF THE THIRD PROGRAMME OF LAW REFORM
The Commission’s Third Programme of Law Reform 2008-2014 contains 37 law reform projects, grouped under 9 major headings, which the Commission will examine over the next 7 years. These include:
- The Legal System and Public Law
- The Law Relating to Juries
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Law of Evidence
- Documentary Evidence and Technology
- Expert Evidence
- Criminal Law
- The Law of Sexual Offences
- The Victim and the Criminal Justice System
- Land Law and Property
- eConveyancing Road Map
- Family Law
- Legal Aspects of Family Relationships
- Domestic Violence
- Specific Groups in a Changing Society
- Children and the Law
- Legal Aspects of New and Emerging Members of Irish Society (Reunification Procedures and Citizenship)
- Technology, Innovation and the Individual
- Legal Aspects of Bioethics
- Commercial Law
- Insurance Contracts
- International Law
- Civil Law Aspects of the Law of Missing Persons.
COMMENTS BY THE COMMISSION’S PRESIDENT
Introducing the Third Programme, the Commission’s President, Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, comments:
“The Commission shares the ambition of all those who have contributed to the preparation of the Third Programme that it must respond to the needs of a modern Ireland. The topics contained in this Programme reflect a society which is currently in a process of great change… We acknowledge that the successful completion of these projects will depend upon consultation with members of the legal profession, with experts from other disciplines, and with interested parties and organisations.”
CONSULTATION PROCESS AND SELECTION CRITERIA
The Commission prepared the Third Programme of Law Reform after an extensive consultation process over the past year. The Commission received more than 200 verbal and written submissions suggesting over 400 areas of law for inclusion in the Third Programme. In deciding what to include in the Programme, the Commission applied a number of selection criteria: the selected projects must meet a real community need, especially by filling a gap in the law, including the need to modernise an outdated law; that the projects were suitable for analysis by the legal expertise available in the Commission, supplemented by appropriate consultation with other professionals and interested parties; that the programme should include a mix of projects, so that the Commission’s resources are not tied up in one project; and that the projects should not overlap with the work of other bodies engaged in law reform activities. Applying these criteria, the Commission concluded it would be feasible to include 37 law reform projects in the Third Programme of Law Reform.
For further information or interview, contact: Winifred McCourt, Weber Shandwick, 01 6760168 or 087 2446004.
BACKGROUND NOTE FOR EDITORS: Since the Law Reform Commission was established, it has published over 130 documents containing proposals for law reform. These are available on the Commission’s website: www.lawreform.ie.