Law Reform Commission Act



ACTS OF 1990

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An Act to Establish an

Independent Law Reform Commission

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Law Reform Commission Act. 1990, c. 17, s. 1.


2 In this Act, "Commission" means the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. 1990, c. 17, s. 2.

Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia

3 There is hereby established a body corporate to be known as the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. 1990, c. 17, s. 3.

Object of Commission

4 The object of the Commission is to review the law of the Province and any matter relating to law in the Province and to make recommendations for improvement, modernization and reform including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, recommendations for

(a) development of new approaches to, and new concepts of, law that serve the changing needs of society and of individual members of society;

(b) clarification and simplification of the law;

(c) removal of provisions of the law that are outdated;

(d) improvement of the administration of justice;

(e) review of judicial and quasi-judicial procedures. 1990, c. 17, s. 4.

Composition of Commission

5 (1) The Commission shall be composed of not fewer than five nor more than seven commissioners who may be appointed, either on a full-time basis or a part-time basis, as follows:

(a) two members of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society appointed by the Council of the Society;

(b) a judge of a court of the Province, appointed by the Governor in Council after consultation with the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia and the chief judge of the court of which the judge is a member;

(c) a full-time member of the Faculty of Law of Dalhousie University appointed by the Governor in Council after consultation with the Dean of the Faculty;

(d) a person who is not a graduate in law appointed by the Governor in Council;

(e) where the Governor in Council determines that the Commission is to be composed of more than five commissioners, one or two persons appointed by the Governor in Council.

Term of office of commissioner

(2) Each commissioner holds office for a term of three years, except that one of the first commissioners appointed by the Council of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society and one of the first commissioners appointed by the Governor in Council shall be appointed for a term of two years.

Ceasing to be a commissioner

(3) A person ceases to be a commissioner where

(a) that person fails to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the Commission, except where the Commission by resolution excuses the absences; or

(b) the composition of the Commission ceases to comply with this Act as a result of the person ceasing to be a person described in clause (a), (b), (c) or (d) of subsection (1).

Casual vacancies

(4) Where a person ceases to be a commissioner for any reason other than the expiration of that persons term of office, the Governor in Council or the Council of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, as the case may be, shall appoint a person for the unexpired portion of the term.

Re-appointment of commissioner

(5) A commissioner whose term of office has expired may be re-appointed.

Expiry of term of office

(6) A commissioner whose term of office expires continues to hold office until a successor is appointed.


(7) A vacancy in the membership of the Commission does not impair the ability of the remaining members to act. 1990, c. 17, s. 5.

President of Commission

6 The commissioners shall appoint one of the members of the Commission to be the President of the Commission. 1990, c. 17, s. 6.

Remuneration and expenses

7 The President and other members of the Commission may be paid such remuneration and shall be paid such travelling and living expenses as may be determined by the Governor in Council. 1990, c. 17, s. 7.

Powers of Commission

8 (1) The Commission may

(a) receive and consider any proposals for the reform of the law that may be made to it by any person;

(b) initiate, carry out and direct such studies and research as are necessary to properly carry out its object;

(c) publish papers, studies or other documents prepared by or for the Commission;

(d) co-operate or enter into agreements with any organization that undertakes projects relating to the object of the Commission within or outside the Province;

(e) with the concurrence of the Attorney General and to the extent that the Commission is able to do so without, in its opinion, impairing its ability to carry out its object or duties, provide information, research material and study results and make recommendations to departments, boards and agencies of the Government of the Province concerned with the improvement, modernization or reform of laws;

(f) regulate its proceedings and provide generally for the conduct and management of its affairs;

(g) do such things and take such measures as the Commission considers advisable for the achievement of its object, including the making of by-laws.

Duties and further powers of Commission

(2) The Commission

(a) may make use of technical and other information, advice and assistance from departments, boards and agencies of the Government of the Province;

(b) shall undertake, at the request of the Attorney General, in a manner as determined by the Commission, the examination of particular laws or branches of the law and make recommendations for their improvement, modernization and reform. 1990, c. 17, s. 8.

Meetings of Commission

9 The Commission shall meet at least four times in each year. 1990, c. 17, s. 9.


10 (1) An Executive Director and such persons as are required for the administration of this Act and the regulations shall be appointed by the Commission, in accordance with the Civil Service Act.

Function of Executive Director

(2) The Executive Director has the management, direction, control and administration of the day-to-day operations of the Commission.


(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Commission may engage, upon such terms and conditions as the Commission deems fit, the services of such professional persons, technical persons and experts to advise the Commission as the Commission deems necessary for the carrying out of its object. 1990, c. 17, s. 10.

Appropriation of money

11 (1) Money appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of this Act shall be paid out by the Attorney General.

Law Reform Commission Fund

(2) The Commission shall maintain an account to be under the control and management of the Commission, to be known as the Law Reform Commission Fund, into which the Attorney General may pay from time to time any sum of money appropriated and into which may be paid any sum of money contributed as a grant or gift by any person, organization or body.

Use of money in Fund

(3) Except where a stipulation or condition is expressed in relation to a sum of money paid into the Law Reform Commission Fund, the money in the Fund may be used by the Commission for the purpose of this Act. 1990, c. 17, s. 11.

Annual report to Attorney General

12 (1) The Commission shall report from time to time to the Attorney General and shall make an annual report to the Attorney General on the activities of the Commission.

Tabling of annual report

(2) The Attorney General shall table the annual report of the Commission in the Assembly, if the Assembly is then sitting and, if the Assembly is not sitting, within fifteen days of its next sitting.

Other report

(3) Where the Commission reviews, considers or inquires into a matter, the Commission shall make a report to the Attorney General with respect to that matter at the conclusion of its deliberations.

Publication of report

(4) The Commission may publish a report made pursuant to this Section. 1990, c. 17, s. 12.


13 Chapter 251 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Law Reform Act, is repealed. 1990, c. 17, s. 13.


14 This Act comes into force on and not before such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation. 1990, c. 17, s. 14.

Proclaimed - January 22, 1991

In force - February 1, 1991

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