Commission “example par excellence” of working together, says Dean

20 Nov


The Scottish Law Commission has been hailed by the Dean of Faculty as “the example par excellence” of what can be achieved when all sections of the legal community work together.

Speaking at “Law Reform in the 21st Century”, an event by the Scottish Public Law Group to mark the Commission’s 50th anniversary, James Wolffe, QC, said: “It is an anniversary which deserves to be celebrated, and I am glad to add my own voice to the many who have spoken in praise of the work of the Commission during this anniversary year.”

He emphasised the importance of law reform.  “If the law is to fulfil its purpose – if it is to underpin a just and economically successful society – then it must be kept up to date and in tune with the needs of that society. In a country which respects the rule of law, systematic law reform is not an optional extra.”

He added: ”As Dean of Faculty, I recall the contribution which members of Faculty have made to the work of the Commission during its first 50 years – not only as Chairs and as members of the Commission, but also through the participation of advocates and of the Faculty itself in the work of the Commission in other ways.

“But the Commission is the example par excellence of what can be achieved for our legal system when we work together – when we draw on the collective expertise of the academic community, the judiciary, and both of Scotland’s legal professions, all working together in the public interest to make sure that our law continues to meet the needs, now and in the future, of the community which all of us serve.”

Mr Wolffe said the Commission had more than justified its existence in the 50 years since it was founded. It had secured reforms which had improved the law in many areas, he suggested. He singled out the major structural reforms undertaken in the field of family law, property law and adults with incapacity.

“This anniversary year is not just a time for looking back…it is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of law reform to any living legal system, and of the significant role which the Scottish Law Commission has in our own legal system,” said Mr Wolffe.