Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
The Law Reform Commission is a “new” public body under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and in accordance with the definition of “effective date” in section 2(c) of the 2014 Act, the Act applies to records held by the Commission dating from 21 April 2008.
Set out below is the Freedom of Information Publication Scheme we are publishing under the 2014 Act. The Scheme outlines a range of information about the Law Reform Commission and is categorised under 6 headings as recommended under section 8 of the 2014 Act. These headings are:
- Role and Responsibilities
- Our Services
- Financial Information
- Functions and Decision Making Process of the Commission
- Routinely Published Information
If you are seeking information that is not currently made publicly available by the Law Reform Commission, you may consider making an FOI request. Our FOI Guide and FOI Application Form are included in Heading 6 below.
1) Role and Responsibilities
The Commission comprises 5 members, the President, a full time Commissioner and 3 part time Commissioners. Further background information with regard to each can be found here. The Commission is supported by a number of research and administrative staff, as outlined in its organisation chart. Pay and grading of these staff is governed by the relevant policies as laid out by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Commission also operates under the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.
The range of records held by the Commission that may be released are:
- General Administration
- Accounts/Expenditure Records
- Asset Register
- Submissions (with the exception of submissions given in confidence and where their release would create a risk that the Commission’s ability to carry out research in the future would be impaired and/or where release would otherwise be unlawful)
- Civil/Public Service Guidelines and circulars
- Annual Reports
- Strategy Statements
Should you require any further information, please feel free to contact us.
2) Our Services
Classified List of Legislation
3) Financial Information
Information about our Grant
Financial Statements 2013
Financial Statements 2014
Financial Statements 2015
Prompt Payments 2017 Q1
Prompt Payments 2017 Q2
Prompt Payments 2017 Q3
Prompt Payments 2017 Q4
Prompt Payments 2018 Q1
Prompt Payments 2018 Q2
4) Functions and Decision Making Process of the Commission
Functions of the Commission
The Commission is a statutory body established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 which requires the Commission to keep the law under review and to conduct research with a view to reforming the law. Law reform is defined to include:
- the development of law
- its codification (including its simplification and modernisation)
- the revision and consolidation of statute law
Since it was established, the Commission has published over 200 documents (Issues Papers, Consultation Papers, Working Papers and Reports) containing proposals for law reform.
The Commission’s research work comes from two main sources:
- Programmes of Law Reform prepared by the Commission and agreed by Government and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas
- Requests from the Attorney General in relation to particular matters.
The Commission has carried out its statutory mandate under 5 Programmes of Law Reform: Fifth Programme (2019); Fourth Programme (2013); Third Programme (2008); Second Programme (2000); and First Progamme (1977).
The Commission's work also involves making legislation more accessible to the public. The Commission produces and maintains the following, all of which are available free online:
- the Legislation Directory, an online searchable guide to legislative changes to all 3,000+ Acts of the Oireachtas, and to the 1,364 pre-1922 Acts retained in force in 2007: it is regularly updated, and published on the electronic Irish Statute Book website, www.irishstatutebook.ie. The Commission has also developed a separate Legislation Directory of Statutory Instruments (those made from 1972 onwards), also available at www.irishstatutebook.ie.
- Revised Acts: Over 360 Revised Acts (Acts as amended, rather than as enacted), which includes over 100 pre-2005 much-used Acts, and all textually amended Acts from 2005 onwards (other than Finance and Social Welfare Acts), available on the Commission’s website, www.lawreform.ie.
- the Classified List of In-Force Acts in Ireland, a list of all Acts of the Oireachtas that remain in force (2,000+) and over 100 pre-1922 Acts, organised under 36 subject headings (such as Commercial Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Environment, Family Law, Land Law, Taxation); and over 15,000 In-Force Statutory Instruments made under those Acts. This is updated regularly and is also available on the Commission’s website, www.lawreform.ie.
Decision Making Process of the Commission
The Commission consists of 5 members, the President, a full time Commissioner and 3 part-time Commissioners. Commissioners are appointed by the Government for a term of up to 5 years, and their appointment may be renewed. The President of the Commission, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, is a former judge of the Supreme Court. The full-time Commissioner, Raymond Byrne, is a barrister and was previously the Commission’s Director of Research. The 3 part-time Commissioners are: Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, Judge of the High Court, Professor Donncha O’Connell, School of Law NUI Galway and Mr Tom O’Malley, Barrister-at-law, and School of Law NUI Galway.
The Commission makes recommendations to Government on the content of a draft Programme of Law Reform, determines the contents of the research output of the Commission (contained in Consultation Papers, Issues Papers and Reports), and makes key administrative and financial decisions. The Commission meets formally as a body at least 10 times each year.
Commission Management Committee
The Commission’s Management Committee consists of: the full-time Commissioner, the Head of Administration, the Director of Research, the Deputy Director of Research, the Access to Legislation Manager, the Deputy Access to Legislation Managers and the Library and Information Manager. The Management Committee meets on a regular basis, usually monthly and in advance of formal Commission meetings, to review all major issues relevant to the efficient and effective operation of the Commission. One of the principal responsibilities of the Committee is to monitor progress on achieving the targets set out in the Commission’s Annual Business Plan which is updated on a quarterly basis.
6) Routinely Published Information
FOI Application Form (English)
FOI Application Form (Irish)
FOI Disclosure Log
Commission's Project Publications (Reports and Issues Papers)
Annual Reports and Statements of Strategy
Protected Disclosures Document July 2017
Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 Action Plan
Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 Action Plan in respect of the Office of the Attorney General, the Chief State's Solicitors Office and the Law Reform Commission
May 2012 PSA Covering Letter
May 2012 PSA Progress Report
May 2012 PSA Savings Report