Law Commission

The Law Commission reviews the law and recommends reform where it is felt necessary.


Regulation of healthcare professionals

'The regulatory framework governing the health and social care professions has become complex and expensive and requires continual Government intervention to keep it up to date. On 16 February 2011, the Government announced a review of the framework, referring the project to the Law Commission.' (Law Commission website).

Accepting the project, Frances Patterson QC, Law Commissioner for Public Law, said: 'The Law Commission is pleased to be conducting this review of the regulatory regime that governs the work and conduct of healthcare and social care professionals. The existing legislative landscape has developed piecemeal over the years, leaving the law fragmented, difficult to access and inefficient. The legal framework is an impediment to the freedom that the regulators need to improve their performance, cost effectiveness and service to the public, rather than an enhancement. The Commission will aim to modernise and simplify the law to create a single over-arching structure within which the regulators can work.' (Tim Spencer-Lane, Law Commission, personal correspondence, 16/2/11).

See also: Department of Health#External links ('Enabling Excellence').

Reforming adult social care legislation

One of the Law Commission's current projects it to review the law under which residential care, community services, adult protection and support for carers is provided. The ideal end result would be a single consolidated statute. On 26/11/08 a "scoping report" was published, to delineate the scope of the project and provide a detailed agenda for reform. On 7/12/09 it was reported that a consultation document would be published in February 2010. This was published on 24/2/10.

Insanity defence

"Our recommendations focus on a new legal test for determining whether a person is unfit to plead and reform of the section 4A hearing which follows a finding that an accused is unfit to plead. The proposals seek to bring the criminal law into line with modern psychiatric understanding and the approach of the civil law to capacity – both in the civil common law and under the Mental Capacity Act 2005." [Extract from Law Commission website.]

See also

External links

Home page

Adult Social Care page

Unfitness to Plead page

Insanity and automatism page (including scoping paper, discussion paper, and related documents)

New Law Commission chairman planning to reform adult social care law, Law Society Gazette, 7/12/09


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