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My hon. Friend makes a very good point, which draws out of me a few comments on a letter sent to me by e-mail yesterday by Mark Ormerod, the chief executive of the Law Commission. I asked him to send me some information on the proposed protocol, and he writes:
"This is in an advanced stage of drafting and we are hoping it will be finally agreed soon. On current plans it will cover:
(a) the process by which projects will be initiated, including scope and resource considerations;
(b) guidance on handling for the currency of the project, with the emphasis on regular communication and co-operation; and
(c) action upon completion of the project, to ensure that interim and final responses are completed within their timescales".
That is what it will cover, as far as he can tell me at present. Basically, that only sets out the headings, but it is the best result I have been able to achieve. My hon. Friend will immediately be making comparisons between those headings and the contents of clause 2(2) and wondering how they fit in together. I must say that I find it extraordinary that at present it is necessary to have a protocol to ensure regular communication and co-operation between the Lord Chancellor and the Law Commission, as I would have thought that that should go without saying in any well-organised Government.
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