Law Reform Agencies

Law reform can be conducted by a range of different actors, groups, or institutions. In some cases, an informal working group, appointed by the government or a line ministry, may be responsible for drafting new laws. When several laws are drafted at the same time, several working groups may be working on pieces of legislation (e.g., one group working on criminal law reform, another on banking law reform, and another on property law reform). In a best-case scenario, these groups are working together in a coordinated manner.

In other countries, a division of a line ministry (e.g., a department of the Ministry of Justice or Ministry of the Interior) may be responsible for drafting new laws. New laws may also be drafted by a law reform commission established under legislation to take the lead on creating new laws for submission to the parliament or other legislative body.

Law reform efforts may begin with the establishment of a focal point for legal drafting, such as a working group or a law reform commission. Whatever body is created, it will need logistical, administrative, and secretariat-type support to effectively draft new laws and develop a law reform process that is consistent with international best practice standards.

Below are links to resources on best practices in establishing a law reform focal body (e.g., working groups or law reform commissions) and supporting and operating it.