Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Study on Economic Value of Law Reform Proposals

I like reports written by law reform commissions, whether here in Canada or from other jurisdictions.

As independent bodies, they often have the time to dive deep into an issue and look at its historical evolution and they often do a comparative analysis of what authorities in other countries have tried to do.

These organizations make recommendations that can go a long way to improve access to justice, modernize the justice system, and reduce harm for vulnerable groups.

I never really thought of the economic benefits of their work, though. Until now.

Two economists recently reviewed and quantified the value of selected projects undertaken over the years by the Law Commission of England and Wales.

They studied 11 projects in all and came up with numbers. 

As in dollars and cents, or pounds sterling if you prefer. 

5 more narrow projects alone could generate £3 billion ($5.2 billion CAD) in benefits to English citizens:
"The economists undertook a contribution analysis to explore whether intended outcomes have been achieved across eleven projects all chosen from recent times. They examined how and why change has happened and assessed the contribution of the project to the change. Contribution analysis is an established tool for assessing impact and is used in situations where precise quantitative modelling is difficult (...)"

"Over the ten-year period examined by the economists the gain to society, the economy and to businesses vastly outstripped the low costs of carrying out the law reform project. The total cost of the Law Commission is less than £5 million per annum and, typically, the Commission can be engaged in up to 20 law reform projects at any one time."

"Even fairly technical reform projects can generate very substantial benefits. The £3 billion benefit referred to as flowing out of only five recent reports demonstrates this:
  • The Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty report (2017) would provide benefits worth £1.64 billion over ten years from improved health outcomes and harm prevention.
  • The Event Fees in Retirement Properties report (2017) could lead to a rise investment in retirement homes worth £805 million over ten years.
  • The Sentencing Code (2018) will reduce court time needed and legal costs, worth up to £256 million over ten years.
  • The Taxis and Private Hire report (2014), which is still being considered by Government, could save £242 million over ten years by reducing regulatory burden.
  • The Form and Accessibility of the Law Applicable in Wales report (2016) will save £194 million over ten years by making the law applicable in Wales clearer, simpler and easier to access and apply"


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:59 pm


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