Bishop & Sewell

Just before the Easter break the Law Commission launched its consultation for the 14th Programme of Law reform.

Under the Law Commissions Act 1965 the Law Commission is required to submit Programmes of Law reform to the Lord Chancellor. Since then, every three or four years the Commission has set out the areas it intends to work on for the next few years.

In July 2016 the 13th Programme of Law Reform consultation was launched to seek the public’s views on the issues most in need of reform. That consultation received the largest ever volume of responses with over 1,300 submissions covering 220 different topics.

From those suggestions the Commissioners chose 14 topics for their new Programme. All had an acknowledgement from Government that there was a serious intention to reform the law in the relevant area.

The projects in the 13th Programme of Law Reform were:

  • A Modern Framework for Disposing of the Dead
  • Administrative Review
  • Automated Vehicles
  • Electronic Signatures
  • Employment Law Hearing Structures
  • Intermediated Securities
  • Modernising Trust Law for a Global Britain
  • Museum Collections
  • Registered Land and Chancel Repair Liability
  • Residential Leasehold
  • Simplifying the Immigration Rules
  • Smart Contracts
  • Surrogacy
  • Unfair Terms in Residential Leasehold

As you can see the projects selected address a wide range of issues.

Broadly the Programme aims to improve the UK’s competitiveness considering the implementation of smart contracts, electronic signatures, automated vehicles, intermediated securities and modernising trust law.

In addition to considerations about the economy the Programmes aim to improve the way in which the Law works for the individual or businesses – surrogacy; residential leasehold; unfair terms in residential leasehold; disposing of the dead; simplifying the Immigration Rules; employment law hearing structures; administrative review and even museum collections have all been the subject of consultations in the last four years.

So this new round of consultations will be interesting. But first the Law Commission has to receive suggestions for its 14th Programme.

Sir Nicholas Green, Chair of the Law Commission says: “Our programmes of Law reform are an important opportunity to hear from a wide range of people about areas of Law that are most in need of improvement or development.

“We are grateful to everyone who responds to the consultation. Your contributions will be invaluable in helping us to decide which projects we suggest to the Lord Chancellor we should take forward for review.

“Your input will help us to clarify and modernise the Law, benefitting society and businesses across England and Wales.”

The consultation closes on 31 July 2021.

You can find out more and respond to the 14th Programme consultation here.

Michael Kashis, is the Managing Partner at Bishop & Sewell and Head of our expert Corporate & Commercial Team. You can contact him on 020 7631 4141 or you can email

The above is accurate as at 06 April 2021. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.

Category: News | Date: 6th Apr 2021

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