HC Deb 24 November 1971 vol 826 cc384-6W
Mr. Bishop

asked the Attorney-General if he will indicate what further progress has been made with law reform since his answer to the Question on the matter by the hon. Member for Newark on 3rd February, 1971; and if he will detail in the OFFICIAL REPORT the subjects dealt with and those awaiting attention.

The Attorney-General

I presume that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the Question to which a Written Answer was given by my predecessor on 6th February, 1970. Since that date the following further progress in the field of law reform has been made:

Titles of Relevant Reports Date of Publication Implemented
Administration Bonds, Personal Representatives' Right of Retainer and Preference and related matters (Law Com. No. 31). 15.10.70 Administration of Estates Act 1971 (c. 25)
Nullity of Marriage (Law Com. No. 33) 4.12.70 Nullity of Marriage Act 1971 (c. 44)
Hague Convention on Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations (Joint Report with Scottish Law Commission) (Law Com. No. 34). 1.12.70 Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations Act 1971 (c. 53).
Limitation Act 1963 (Law Com. No. 35) 25.11.70 Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1971 (c. 43)
Statute Law Revision: Third Report. Draft Statute Law (Repeals) Bill (Law Com. No. 37). 15.12.70 Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1971 (c. 52)
Civil Liability of Vendors and Lessors for Defective Premises (Law Com. No. 40). 16.12.70 No.
Report on Polygamous Marriages (Law Com. No. 42). 3. 2.71 No.1
Taxation of Income and Gains derived from Land (Joint Report with Scottish Law Commission) (Law Com. No. 43) 23. 4.71 No.
2. Other Law Reform Measures
Administration of Justice Act 1970.2
Part II of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1971.3
Administration of Estates Act 1971.4
Courts Act 1971.5
Land Registration and Land Charges Act 1971.
13 Consolidation Acts (3 more have been introduced this session).
3. Reports under Consideration
Law Reform Committee's 12th Report on Transfer of Title to Chattels.6
The Law Reform Committee's 14th Report on Acquisition of Easements and Profits by Prescription.7
The Wilberforce Committee's Report on Positive Covenants affecting land.7
The remaining Recommendations of the Winn Committee and the Payne Committee.
The Law Reform Committee's 17th Report on Evidence of Opinion and Expert Evidence.8
The Law Reform Committee's 18th Report on Conversion and Detinue.
The Brodrick Report on Death Certification and Coroners.
4. Matters to which consideration is being given.9
(a) By the Law Reform Committee:
(i) interpretation of wills;
(ii) limitation of actions.
(b) By the Criminal Law Revision Committee:
(i) evidence in criminal cases;
(ii) offences against the person.
(c) By the Committees set up by the Government:
(i) the law of defamation;
(ii) the law of contempt of court.
(d) By the Committee on torts containing a foreign element: The draft Hague Convention on Products Liability.
(e) By a Working Party under the Chairman of the Law Commission: Family Courts.
1 The Matrimonial Proceedings (Polygamous Marriages) Bill which was given a Second Reading by the House of Lords on 9th July last lapsed at the end of the Session.
2 Implements certain recommendations of the Payne Committee on the Enforcement of Judgment Debts and the Winn Committee on Personal Injuries Litigation. Part of this Act has now been consolidated with other related enactments in the Attachment of Earnings Act 1971.
3 Amends the law relating to damages payable to widows in fatal accidents cases, and abolishes the control by the courts over such damages.
4 In addition to implementing the Law Commission's 31st Report, this Act amended the law relating to the resealing of probate.
5 Implements the Report of the Royal Commission on Assizes and Quarter Sessions and one of the recommendations in the Banks Committee Report on the British Patent System.
6 The subject matter of this Report is being further considered in a wider study.
7 The subject matter of these Reports is being further considered by the Law Commission in a wider study of rights appurtenant to land.
8 Accepted in principle.
9 This section only includes studies of which a specific official announcement has been made. It would be impracticable to set out in detail all the matters to which consideration is being given by the Government.