Law Commission of Canada Act
S.C. 1996, c. 9
Assented to 1996-05-29
An Act respecting the Law Commission of Canada
WHEREAS, after extensive national consultations, the Government of Canada has determined that it is desirable to establish a commission to provide independent advice on improvements, modernization and reform of the law of Canada, which advice would be based on the knowledge and experience of a wide range of groups and individuals;
AND WHEREAS the Government adopted the recommendations arising from those consultations that the commission should be guided by the following principles, namely,
the commission’s work should be open to and inclusive of all Canadians and the results of that work should be accessible and understandable,
the commission should adopt a multidisciplinary approach to its work that views the law and the legal system in a broad social and economic context,
the commission should be responsive and accountable by cooperating and forging partnerships with a wide range of interested groups and individuals, including the academic community,
the commission should employ modern technology when appropriate and be innovative in its research methods, its consultation processes, its management practices and its communications in order to achieve efficiency in its operations and effectiveness in its results, and
the commission should take account of cost-effectiveness and the impact of the law on different groups and individuals in formulating its recommendations;
NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION
Marginal note:Commission established
2. There is hereby established a corporation, to be called the Law Commission of Canada.
PURPOSE, POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSION
3. The purpose of the Commission is to study and keep under systematic review, in a manner that reflects the concepts and institutions of the common law and civil law systems, the law of Canada and its effects with a view to providing independent advice on improvements, modernization and reform that will ensure a just legal system that meets the changing needs of Canadian society and of individuals in that society, including
(a) the development of new approaches to, and new concepts of, law;
(b) the development of measures to make the legal system more efficient, economical and accessible;
(c) the stimulation of critical debate in, and the forging of productive networks among, academic and other communities in Canada in order to ensure cooperation and coordination; and
(d) the elimination of obsolete laws and anomalies in the law.
4. In furtherance of its purpose, the Commission may
(a) undertake, promote, initiate and evaluate studies and research;
(b) support, publish, sell and otherwise disseminate studies, reports and other documents;
(c) sponsor or support conferences, seminars and other meetings;
(d) facilitate and support cooperative efforts among the Commission, governments, the academic community, the legal profession and other organizations and persons interested in the Commission’s work;
(e) acquire any money, securities or other property by gift, bequest or otherwise and hold, expend, invest, administer or dispose of that property, subject to any terms on which it is given, bequeathed or otherwise made available to the Commission;
(f) generate revenues through the provision of goods or services;
(g) expend during a fiscal year any money provided by Parliament or received from other sources in that year through the conduct of its operations, subject to any terms on which the money was provided or received; and
(h) do all such things as are conducive to the furtherance of its purpose.
- 1996, c. 9, s. 4;
- 2001, c. 4, s. 98(F);
- 2004, c. 25, s. 143(F).
5. (1) The Commission shall
(a) consult with the Minister of Justice with respect to the annual program of studies that it proposes to undertake;
(b) prepare such reports as the Minister, after consultation with the Commission and taking into consideration the workload and resources of the Commission, may require; and
(c) submit to the Minister any report that it has initiated itself or on the request of the Minister.
Marginal note:Minister’s response
(2) The Minister of Justice shall respond to the Commission with respect to any report that the Minister receives from the Commission under this section.
Marginal note:Accountable to Parliament
6. The Commission is ultimately accountable, through the Minister of Justice, to Parliament for the conduct of its affairs.
7. (1) The Commission consists of a President and four other Commissioners, to be appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice.
(2) In recommending persons for appointment as Commissioners, the Minister of Justice shall not restrict consideration to members of the legal community.
(3) As a group, the Commissioners should be broadly representative of the socio-economic and cultural diversity of Canada, represent various disciplines and reflect knowledge of the common law and civil law systems.
Marginal note:Term and tenure of office
(4) The Commissioners hold office during pleasure for such term, not exceeding five years, as the Governor in Council may fix so as to ensure, as far as possible, the expiration of not more than two terms of office in any year.
Marginal note:Full-time and part-time Commissioners
(5) The President holds office on a full-time basis and the other Commissioners hold office on a part-time basis.
8. (1) A Commissioner is eligible for reappointment to the Commission in the same or another capacity.
(2) A Commissioner who wishes to resign shall notify the Minister of Justice in writing to that effect, and the resignation becomes effective at the time the Minister receives the notice or at the time specified in the notice, whichever is the later.
9. The Commissioners shall elect one of themselves as Vice-President of the Commission.
Marginal note:Functions of President
10. (1) The President is the chief executive officer of the Commission and presides at meetings of the Commission.
Marginal note:Absence or incapacity
(2) If the President is absent or unable to act or if the office of President is vacant, the Vice-President has all the powers, duties and functions of the President.
Marginal note:Residence of President
(3) The President must reside in the area of the head office of the Commission.
Marginal note:Remuneration of President
11. (1) The President shall be paid such remuneration as the Governor in Council may fix.
Marginal note:Fees of other Commissioners
(2) The Commissioners, other than the President, shall be paid such fees for their work for the Commission as the Governor in Council may fix.
(3) A Commissioner is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by the Commissioner while absent from the Commissioner’s ordinary place of residence in the course of performing duties under this Act.
HEAD OFFICE AND MEETINGS
Marginal note:Head office
13. (1) The Commission shall meet at such times and places as the President may determine.
(2) Subject to the by-laws of the Commission, a Commissioner may participate in a meeting of the Commission or of a committee of the Commission by means of such telephone or other communication facilities as permit all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other, and a Commissioner so participating in a meeting is deemed for the purposes of this Act to be present at the meeting.
14. The Commission may make by-laws respecting
(a) the constitution of committees of the Commission, including committees with members who are not Commissioners, the duties of the committees and the expenses to be paid to members who are not Commissioners;
(b) the quorum and procedure at meetings of the Commission or its committees; and
(c) generally, the conduct and management of the work of the Commission.
15. (1) An executive director of the Commission, and such other officers and employees as are necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Commission, shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
Marginal note:Temporary assistance
(2) For the purposes of advising and assisting the Commission in the performance of its duties and functions, the Commission may, on a temporary basis, contract for the services of any person who has specialized knowledge of any matter relating to a specific project of the Commission and may fix and pay the remuneration and expenses of that person.
Marginal note:Executive director
16. Under the direction of the President, the executive director has the day-to-day supervision over the staff and work of the Commission.
17. The Commissioners are deemed to be employees for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and to be employed in the public service of Canada for the purposes of any regulations made pursuant to section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
Marginal note:Law Commission of Canada Advisory Council
18. (1) There is hereby established a council, to be called the Law Commission of Canada Advisory Council, consisting of not less than twelve or more than twenty-four members appointed by the Commission to hold office during pleasure for a term not exceeding three years and the Deputy Minister of Justice.
(1.1) In appointing persons as members of the Council, the Commission shall not restrict consideration to members of the legal community.
(1.2) As a group, the members of the Council should be broadly representative of the socio-economic and cultural diversity of Canada, represent various disciplines and reflect knowledge of the common law and civil law systems.
(2) A member of the Council is eligible for reappointment to the Council in the same or another capacity.
(3) The members of the Council shall elect one of themselves as Chairperson of the Council.
(4) A member of the Council serves without remuneration, but is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by the member while absent from the member’s ordinary place of residence in the course of performing duties under this Act.
Marginal note:Advisory function
19. The Council shall advise the Commission on the Commission’s strategic directions and long-term program of studies and on the review of the Commission’s performance and may advise the Commission on any other matters relating to the purpose of the Commission.
Marginal note:Study panels
20. (1) For the purposes of advising and assisting the Commission in any particular project, the Commission may establish a study panel presided over by a Commissioner and consisting of persons having specialized knowledge in, or particularly affected by, the matter to be studied.
(2) A person serving on a study panel serves without remuneration, but is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by the person while absent from the person’s ordinary place of residence in the course of performing duties under this Act.
Marginal note:Agent of Her Majesty
21. (1) The Commission is for all its purposes an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada and may exercise its powers only as an agent of Her Majesty.
(2) The Commission may enter into contracts in the name of Her Majesty in right of Canada or in its own name.
(3) Property acquired by the Commission is the property of Her Majesty in right of Canada and title to the property may be vested in the name of Her Majesty or in the name of the Commission.
Marginal note:Legal proceedings
(4) Actions, suits or other legal proceedings in respect of any right or obligation acquired or incurred by the Commission, whether in the name of Her Majesty in right of Canada or in its own name, may be brought or taken by or against the Commission in the name of the Commission in any court that would have jurisdiction if the Commission were not an agent of Her Majesty.
22. The accounts and financial transactions of the Commission shall be audited by the Auditor General of Canada at such times as the Auditor General considers appropriate, and a report of the audit shall be made to the Commission and to the Minister of Justice.
Marginal note:Annual report
23. Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the President shall submit to the Minister of Justice an annual report of the activities of the Commission in that year, including the financial statements of the Commission and the Auditor General’s report.
Marginal note:Tabling of reports
24. The Minister of Justice shall cause a copy of any report of the Commission to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives it.
Marginal note:Tabling of response
25. The Minister of Justice shall cause a copy of the Minister’s response to any report of the Commission to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Minister gives the response to the Commission.
26. to 30. [Amendments]
COMING INTO FORCE
Marginal note:Coming into force
Return to footnote *[Note: Act in force April 21, 1997, see SI/97-46.]
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