Mrs Justice Arden, the chair of the Law Commission, has called for the creation of a fast-track procedure for implementing the commission's reports.
Speaking on the publication of its annual report for 1996, the judge expressed frustration that several reports had not been implemented, either because of Government delays in responding to them or because of delays bringing the legislation before Parliament.
“Delays in implementation continue to haunt us. We are an advisory body only. It's for Parliament and government to implement our recommendations,” she said.
As many as 20 reports published since 1981 have not yet been implemented, excluding reports which the Government rejected.
“There has to be found a streamlined way of considering and implementing Law Commission recommendations,” said Mrs Justice Arden.
“We would like to think there could be a way of fast-tracking Law Commission bills.”
Arden said the Jellicoe procedure, which fast-tracks non-contentious Bills by con- sidering them off the floor of the House, was used in 1995 but not used last year.
“We hope it will be used hereafter and expanded. We want it to be used as an acorn from which a fast-track system for Law Commission reports can grow,” added Mrs Justice Arden.