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Reimagining the Law 10 June 2020

1. Stemming the tide

Democratic accountability and the rule of law is being weakened by extensive use of secondary legislation, particularly in relation to Covid-19 and Brexit. Parliament has been unable to effect proper scrutiny or stem the tide. Can the judges help without being accused of engaging in politics?
Lord Thomas, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd KT PC

2. Controlling legal costs of lawyers to assist with access to justice.

Many individuals cannot afford a lawyer for personal matters, eg family disputes, wills, employment difficulties, putting law out of reach. Legal aid is devastated and is not the answer. Court procedures, tax forms, and other regulatory formalities should be simplified to enable individuals to understand their rights, see what needs to be done and then handle matters themselves.
Julian Lew QC

3. Toppling a bastion of bigotry

Throughout history civil disobedience has been used as a means of resisting oppression where the law is used to entrench the power of the social elite. The requirement to ask for permission to topple a bastion of bigotry is an illustration of a racist society.
Michael Abiodun Olatokun FRSA

4. Complicated and slow enforcement

Most claimants in commercial cases measure success by actual recovery of sums claimed. Why then is enforcement often complicated and slow? Let's review best practice globally and develop standards for smooth, speedy, digital and fair enforcement processes. Who might lead the review? Step forward BIICL and the Alan Turing Institute.
Helen Dodds

5. Diversity (including social mobility)

Regulated businesses should be required by their regulator to have a director or equivalent with responsibility for increasing diversity in the business. Their duties should include producing, agreeing with the board and delivering a strategy and related budgets for increased diversity. Performance should be part of regulatory inspection and enforcement.
Edward Sparrow

6. Incorporating a drive to net zero in regulatory mandates

That all regulators and local authorities in the UK should be required to 'have regards to' the UK's statutory commitment to net zero by 2050 in the exercise of their functions; that there should be a specialist body created to advise them how they could pursue this objective; and that they should report annually on what they have done to meet this requirement.
Professor Julia Black CBE FBA

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