A law commission, law reform commission, or law revision commission is an independent body set up by a government to conduct law reform; that is, to consider the state of laws in a jurisdiction and make recommendations or proposals for legal changes or restructuring.
The first term is prevalent in the United Kingdom, the second is prevalent in the Commonwealth, and the third one is prevalent in the United States, where "reform" is too strong a term (it necessarily implies the legislature must have been incompetent or corrupt).
The functions of a law commission body includes drafting revised versions of confusing laws, preparing consolidated versions of laws, making recommendations on updating outdated laws and making recommendations on repealing obsolete or spent laws. Law commissions often undertake projects focusing on legislation, although their mandates may be more narrow or broader.
List of law commissions
- Australia – Australian Law Reform Commission
- Canada – the Law Commission of Canada was established by the Law Commission of Canada Act on July 1, 1997 and was eliminated in 2006. It replaced the Law Reform Commission of Canada, which was created in 1971 and was dissolved in 1993 by the Mulroney government. On September 25, 2006, funding to the Commission was eliminated by the Harper government.
- Alberta – Alberta Law Reform Institute
- British Columbia – British Columbia Law Institute, formed to replace the British Columbia Law Reform Commission, which had been disbanded due to lack of funding
- Manitoba – Manitoba Law Reform Commission
- Nova Scotia – Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia
- Ontario – Law Commission of Ontario
- Saskatchewan – Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan
- Fiji – Fiji Law Reform Commission
- Hong Kong – Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, established in 1980
- India – Law Commission of India
- Bangladesh - Law Commission of Bangladesh established in 1976.
- Ireland – The Law Reform Commission, established under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975
- Jersey – Jersey Law Commission established by the States of Jersey in 1996
- Nepal – Nepal Law Commission established by the Nepal Law Commissions Act 2007
- New Zealand – Law Commission established by the Law Commission Act
- South Africa - South African Law Reform Commission
- United Kingdom
- England and Wales – The Law Commission
- Scotland, the Scottish Law Commission, established by the Law Commissions Act 1965 at the same time as the Law Commission in England and Wales
- Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Law Commission (formerly the Law Reform Advisory Committee)
- Other bodies concerned with law reform in the United Kingdom included the Law Revision Committee (1934 to 1939) and the Law Reform Committee (1952 - )
- United States - Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives
- Tilbury, Michael; Young, Simon N. M.; Ng, Ludwig (2014-01-01). Reforming Law Reform: Perspectives from Hong Kong and Beyond. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789888208241.
- "After a decade-long Conservative reign, what’s on Trudeau’s justice agenda?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
- The Solicitors Journal. 1952. Volume 96. Page 285.