HL Deb 09 April 1998 vol 588 c169WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will give effect to the recommendation of the Law Commission for England and Wales, as set out in its 32nd Annual Report (Law Com No. 250; HC 565), to give priority in their legislative programme to implement the Law Commission's recommendations on mental incapacity, offences against the person, forfeiture of leases, manslaughter, contracts for the benefit of third parties, hearsay in criminal cases, punitive damages and shareholder remedies. [HL1298]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg)

I have already announced that the Government will take forward the Law Commission report on Contracts for the Benefit of Third Parties when legislative time permits.

The Government have published consultation documents on the Commission's reports on Offences Against the Person and Mental Incapacity. Decisions on the way ahead in these two areas must await the outcome of those consultations.

The Law Commission have themselves gone out to further consultation on part of their report on Forfeiture of Leases.

The Government are considering their response to the Commission's reports on Hearsay, Involuntary Manslaughter, Aggravated, Exemplary and Restitutionary Damages and Shareholder Remedies.

All Law Commission reports, whether or not implemented, play a valuable role in the clarification and development of the law. If the decision is made to implement the recommendations of a report by legislation, the Government will then assess its appropriate priority, taking into account competing pressures on the legislative programme.