ABOUT US

WHAT IS THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION?

The Vanuatu Law Commission is an independent statutory body funded by the Government of Vanuatu and created under the Law Commission Act [Cap 115 ] to study and keep under review the laws of Vanuatu and recommend reforms where needed. 

WHAT DO WE DO?

The functions of the Law Commission as provided under the Law Commission Act [Cap 115] is to study and keep under review the laws of Vanuatu with a view to recommending reforms and in particular:

  • the removal of anachronisms and anomalies;
  • the reflection in the law of the distinctive concepts of custom, the common and civil law legal systems and the reconciliation where appropriate of differences in those concepts; and
  • the development of new approaches to and new concepts of the law in keeping with and responsive to the changing needs of Vanuatu Society, of groups within that society and of individual members of that society.

When a Government bill is published the Commission may also submit comments and recommendations on the bill by notice in writing to the Speaker before any debate on the bill is commenced.

Any recommendations made by the Law Commission are based on extensive research and public consultation as well as the principles of impartiality, equity and social justice. The Law Commission will also take into account both custom and our common and civil law traditions.

The Law Commission does not offer legal advice or handle complaints about the legal system generally or intervene in specific legal matters.

WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR REPORTS?

The Law Commission’s recommendations for law reform can have a significant practical effect on the legal rights, duties and liabilities of community members, but only if they are implemented by Parliament. While the Commission may undertake an inquiry and make recommendations for reform, only Parliament has the power to change the law.

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