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Clause 2

Part of Law Commission Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 8th July 2009.

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Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Shadow Minister (Justice) 10:15 am, 8th July 2009

I want to take up the important comments made by my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Hertfordshire about the protocol, which goes to the heart of the relationship between Government and the Law Commission. We support the clause, but ask why the opportunity was not taken to provide more detail about the current protocol and put it into statutory form, so that it could be subject to revision and would have more teeth. There is, for example, a need to ensure adequate departmental responsiveness to the commission’s reports.

The clause might also have been an opportunity to accept Sir Terence Etherton’s recommendation to avoid the battle that has been going on since 1963 over priorities for legislative timetabling: that per Session there should be at least one Law Commission Bill that has been accepted in principle by the Government. Perhaps those points could be passed on by the Member in charge of the Bill or the Minister.