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Evaluation of the Law Commission

Hon Margaret Wilson


13 March 2000

Evaluation of the Law Commission: Progress Report Called for

Associate Minister of Justice Margaret Wilson has invited former Prime Minister and Attorney General, Sir Geoffrey Palmer to conduct a review of the Law Commission to be completed by 30 April 2000.

"It is fifteen years since the passage of the Law Commission Act 1985 and time that we have an expert observer‘s view determined of the usefulness, strengths and achievements of the Commission. The review will allow Sir Geoffrey to undertake qualitative interviews with members of the Commission and seek the views of those individuals and representatives of institutions most closely connected with the work of the Commission"

Sir Geoffrey will be examining

· the Commission’s structure, legislative mandate and performance,

· its relationship with Ministers, the Ministry of Justice and the government system generally,

· what the Commission has produced since it has been in existence

· how many of its reports have led to parliamentary enactments

· how efficient the Commission has been in using its resources

· has it achieved its statutory objectives and how those objective stand up in the light of experience

· to what extent the Commission’s work programmes are organised in accordance with the Government’s legislative priorities

· what skills, experience and qualifications are desirable in the Commission including the Commissioners themselves

· what improvements, if any, could be made to the structure, processes and position of the Commission within the New Zealand Government system.?

"It is time we put our own Commission into a wider frame and I have also asked Sir Geoffrey to research trends in overseas law reform commissions in countries with legal systems similar to New Zealand?s. A new Government and a fresh direction for our society requires familiar institutions be reviewed to see how best they can serve us into the future as they might have done in the past," said the Associate Minister.


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