Reporting on our 50th anniversary year

The Law Commission’s Annual Report 2015-16, published today, charts the activities and achievements of our 50th anniversary year.

Most significantly this year we have welcomed a new Chairman, Sir David Bean, who joined the Commission on 1 August 2015. We appointed Professor Nick Hopkins as Commissioner for property, family and trust law and extended the appointment of Professor David Ormerod QC, Law Commissioner for criminal law. In a new step for the Commission we have also appointed our first non-executive Board Member, Sir David Bell KCB. A short profile of Sir David appears in the Annual Report.

The Report documents Government responses to, and the implementation in Parliament, throughout the year of Law Commission reforms. This year we have seen our recommendations for reform effected in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Enterprise Act 2016 and, by the Welsh Assembly, in the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. Reforms from our firearms project are before Parliament in the Policing and Crime Bill and, on 19 May, the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill was introduced, taking forward our work on unjustified threats of proceedings for patent, trade mark and design right infringement.

The Report also includes an account of the flagship event of our anniversary year, at which we were joined by around 100 of our friends and supporters at a reception in the Houses of Parliament, and of the 50th anniversary Scarman Lecture “The law reform enterprise: evaluating the past and charting the future” was delivered by the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer KCMG AC QC, former President of the Law Commission of New Zealand and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Sir David Bean said:

“This is my first Annual Report as Chairman of the Law Commission. We have had a remarkable anniversary year, publishing six reports and seeing reforms implemented from six more, either through legislation or other means. As we start the process this week of consulting for our next three-yearly programme, I have confidence in the future and a firm belief that the need for law reform will be as important over the next 50 years.”