Insights Law Commission publishes consultation on its 14th Programme of Law Reform

The Law Commission says that the responses it receives from the public will shape a great deal of the work of the Commission for the next few years. The Commission is asking for help to identify areas of the substantive law of England and Wales that need reform, and to prioritise those reforms. In the consultation, the Commission outlines some areas where it thinks reform may be needed and some ideas for potential projects that could form part of the Programme.

Possible themes suggested by the Commission for the 14th Programme include:

  • emerging technology: the Commission says that it has developed real expertise in designing legal frameworks that both anticipate and confront the implications of future technologies, for example automated vehicles and support the digital economy; there will a growing need in the future for law which reflects developments such as AI and the use of algorithms in decision-making; in all of these areas it is necessary to consider not only the commercial and economic implications but also the need for proper consumer protection; and
  • leaving the EU: the Commission says that it is essential that the UK now demonstrates to the world that Britain is a great place in which to live, work and invest; clarity, modernity and accessibility of the law will help secure that position and ensure that legal services are at the forefront of enhancing the UK’s competitiveness; the Commission welcomes suggestions for areas in which the law must keep pace if the UK is to maintain and strengthen its standing internationally, and about areas of retained European law which should be reformed, rather than simply being reabsorbed unchanged into domestic legislation.

Ideas for possible projects include:

  • Automated decision-making: should a legal framework be developed to support the increased automation of public decision-making?
  • Conflict of laws and emerging technology: what are the jurisdictional challenges presented by emerging technologies?
  • Data sharing and information law: should there be a review of the principles of information sharing between public bodies?
  • Deeds and variation of contracts: how should the law of deeds for commercial parties be modernised, whilst still protecting vulnerable individuals?
  • Peer-to-peer sales: how can the law best protect individuals entering online marketplaces?

The consultation closes on 31 July 2021. To access the consultation, click here.