Law reform agencies


As part of its activities, the International Cooperation Group of the Department of Justice of Canada conducts independent research in areas of legal reform. Although of academic interest and value, this research is undertaken primarily for the practical purpose of assisting countries in developing their justice systems.

The present study examines the relatively modern institution of the specialised law reform agency. Following a broad historical overview, Law Reform Agencies provides a detailed examination of the role, organisation and operation of reform agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. The work closely considers the fundamental questions that have arisen in regard to principles, practices and precedents, and it offers a balanced account of opposing views and divergent approaches.

Drawing upon personal interviews with former and incumbent presidents, executive directors and other members of law reform commissions in various countries, Law Reform Agencies provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to its subject. The study's aim to serve as a practical working document is reflected in the depth of discussion on points of detail, the full presentation of the views of various authorities in the extensive endnotes and a checklist, appended to the main discussion, of the key questions to be considered when establishing a law reform agency.

Serge Lortie
The International Cooperation Group
March 2004

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