Law commissions are established to address the state of the law in a jurisdiction. A commission will make recommendations on the laws in a jurisdiction, and may provide draft wording for new laws or laws the commission believes ought to be revised. You can also search for information from a law commission from a database. On the Law Library's website, look for the World Law Reform Index and Full-Text. This allows you to search commissions and reform institutes from all over the world, including Canada, with the full-text of some studies available. Many of these studies are also available in paper, in our collection (including older studies not available online), and may accessed via the OPAC or catalog.
There are numerous law commissions in Canada. Some of the commissions and institutes listed below have publications on their website free for download.
- Law Commission of Canada - In 2006, the federal government removed all funding for the LCC and it was abolished. Library and Archives Canada has some LCC materials in their collection.
- Uniform Law Conference of Canada - "The goal is to harmonize the laws in the provinces and territories in Canada." This is not a government-funded body.
- British Columbia Law Institute - This replaces the Law Reform Commission of British Columbia, which was discontinued due to budget cuts in 1997.
- Alberta Law Reform Institute - "Dedicated to advancing just and effective laws through independent legal research, consultation and analysis"
- Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan - "The Commission’s purpose is to review the law in Saskatchewan with a view to its systematic modernization and simplification"
- Manitoba Law Reform Commission - "Role is to improve, modernize and reform the law and administration of justice in Manitoba." Provides limited publications back to 1997
- Law Commission of Ontario - The Ontario Law Reform Commission was abolished in 1996 due to budget cuts. The new Law Commission of Ontario was launched on Sept. 7, 2007
- New Brunswick Department of Justice Reform Section New Brunswick does not have a separate, independent commission.
- Access to Justice & Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia - "The Commission's projects cover a broad range of social and legal issues"
- Law Foundation of Prince Edward Island - There is no separate commission, but the Foundation is responsible for law reform
Many countries throughout the world have law commissions, but only a few are listed below. Some of the commissions and institutes listed have publications on their website free for download. Also check WorldLii for law reform commission reports.
- The Law Commission (UK) - "The aim of the Commission is to ensure that the law is: fair, modern, simple, and cost effective." Comprehensive site with many documents available for free.
- Scottish Law Commission - "Our task is to recommend reforms to improve, simplify and update the law of Scotland. Society is constantly developing and it is important that the law keeps pace with changes in the way we live and work." Many publications available, some since the 1960s.
- Law Reform Commission (Ireland) - "The Commission's role is to keep the law under review and to conduct research with a view to the reform of the law"
- American Law Institute - "The leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law"
- Uniform Law Commission (U.S.). "The Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws), established in 1892, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law."
- Michigan Law Revision Commission - "Examine[s] the common law and statutes of the state and current judicial decisions for the purpose of discovering defects and anachronisms in the law and recommending needed reforms."
- Australian Law Reform Commission - "The Australian Law Reform Commission is a federal agency that reviews Australia’s laws to ensure they provide improved access to justice for all Australians by making laws and related processes more equitable, modern, fair and efficient"
- New Zealand Law Commission - "The Law Commission reviews, reforms and develops New Zealand law." Includes publications back to the 1980s
- Law Commission of India - "Reforming the law for maximising justice in society and promoting good governance under the Rule of Law"
- Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong - "Considers for reform those aspects of the laws of Hong Kong which are referred to it by the Secretary for Justice or the Chief Justice." The website is available in three languages, and contains many documents available back to the 1980s
- International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy - "Promotes the rule of law, democracy, human rights, and good governance in criminal law and the administration of criminal justice, domestically, regionally and globally." Based in Vancouver at UBC.