What is law reform? ‘the process of examining existing laws, and advocating and implementing changes in a legal system, usually with the aim of enhancing justice or efficiency’ (Wikipedia)
LESSON OBJECTIVES Know the different influences upon Parliament Know the role of the Law Commission To know advantages and disadvantages of the Law Commission Understand why a public inquiry was needed into the Hillsborough disaster
LAW REFORM AGENCIES Law Commission Royal CommissionsOTHER INFLUENCES ON PARLIAMENT Public inquiries Media Pressure groups Manifesto promises European Union law
LAW COMMISSION http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/ The Law Commission Act 1965 set up the Law Commission. There are 5 legal experts from the legal profession. Their job: Identify areas of the law where reform is necessary Codify the law Repeal obsolete laws Consolidate and modernise the law
ROYAL COMMISSION http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/258929.stm Independent experts. Set up when necessary. Once report is completed, group disbands. Runciman Commission set up after the Birmingham six were released.
PUBLIC INQUIRIESThe Taylor Report was set up afterthe Hillsborough Disaster and ledto all-seated football stadiums.http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/55384945 The Cullen Report led to the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 after the Dunblane Disaster. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d ates/stories/march/13/newsid_2543 000/2543277.stm
MEDIA Sometimes the media may campaign for a change in the law for example the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The News of the World campaign to ‘name and shame’ paedophiles after the murder of Sarah Payne in 2001 was unsuccessful.
PRESSURE GROUPS The Fathers 4 Justice campaign has been unsuccessful Gay rights groups were successful in changing the law. The age of consent was lowered to 16 from 18 in 2000.
MANIFESTO PROMISESA declaration of a political party’sintentions produced before a generalelection.The Liberal Democrats werecommitted to abolishing tuition fees.However, the Coalition are looking toincrease Higher Education fees.
EUROPEAN UNION LAW If UK law does not conform to EU law, Parliament must change the law. For example the Sex Discrimination Act 1986 was created to protect female workers.