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Law Commission: Reports

Volume 699: debated on Monday 18 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many reports published by the Law Commission from 1995 to 2007 inclusive did not receive a response from the Government within six months of publication; and, of these, how many have still not received a response; and [HL1701]

What steps they have taken to ensure that government departments are aware of the recommendations in the 2006 protocol The Law Commission and Government—Working Together to Deliver the Benefits of Clear, Simple and Modern Law; and [HL1702]

What action they have taken to ensure that responses to Law Commission reports are published within six months of the report's publication. [HL1703]

In his 2002-03 quinquennial review of the Law Commission, John Halliday CB recommended that there should be more effective communication between the Law Commission, government departments and stakeholders. In June 2004, following the acceptance of this recommendation by the Government, the Department for Constitutional Affairs published a protocol, Working Together to Deliver the Benefits of Clear, Simple and Modern Law. The protocol was agreed between the Law Commission and government departments and set out how they should work together. It was updated in August 2006. The paper is available from the Ministry of Justice and Law Commission website and has been circulated to all government departments.

Since the protocol came into force in June 2004, the Law Commission has published 14 law reform reports. Of these, one received an interim response within six months of publication, 10 received an interim or final response within 12 months of publication and one received a response 17 months after publication. Two reports have not yet received an interim response. Ten of the reports remain under consideration; two have been accepted; one has been rejected; and the subject matter of one has been incorporated into a further review.

I have today deposited a copy of the protocol in the House of Lords Library.