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The Commission is not the only source of proposals for reform of the law in Hong Kong. For instance, proposals for reform may be generated by Government departments or bureaus, or there may be initiatives from the legislature or the public. However, the Commission's role is particularly valuable:

  • where the subject does not fall readily under the responsibility of one particular bureau of Government (for example, reform of the law of privacy)

  • where the subject raises issues which are outside the Government's day to day activities (as is the case, for instance, with reforming the rules for determining domicile)

  • where the subject requires the dedication of full-time legal input to conduct a review (the review of insolvency law is an example).

In such cases, it is unlikely that reform of the law would be achieved without the involvement of the Law Reform Commission.

The strengths of the Commission are that:

  • It is independent, and presents its recommendations after an objective examination of the facts and the law.

  • Its members come from a range of backgrounds, enabling it to consider law reform from the point of view of the community as a whole, rather than solely from that of the legal profession.

  • It involves the public at large in the reform process by consulting as widely as possible before reaching final conclusions on any of its references.

  • All the Commission's reports and consultation papers are published and made freely available to the public.