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The Law Commission of Ontario (“the LCO”) was launched on September 7, 2007, as a partnership among the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, the law deans of Ontario, the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada. Officially located at Osgoode Hall Law School, the LCO is temporarily housed elsewhere at York University until Osgoode completes extensive renovations that will include space allocated to the LCO.
The LCO’s mandate as articulated by the Foundation Agreement is to recommend law reform measures to increase access to and the relevance and effectiveness of the legal system, to clarify and simplify the law and to consider technology as a means of increasing access to justice. The LCO is also to stimulate debate about law and promote scholarly legal research.
The LCO’s mission is to become a leading voice in law reform. Leadership includes helping to identify the parameters of law reform; encouraging debate about law reform and law reform initiatives; producing scholarly research that identifies areas of law in need of reform and providing high level analysis of the areas identified; and making holistic and multidisciplinary recommendations directed at making the law forward-looking, responsive to the needs of affected communities and comprehensive in approach.
The LCO is premised on a vision of law reform as a creative yet pragmatic endeavour. It has made a commitment to widespread consultation in selecting law reform projects and in making its recommendations. It is also committed to collaboration with other law reform bodies and other organizations engaged in law reform activities. This Strategic Plan not only describes the organization of the LCO and its objectives, but also relates it to the various perspectives on law reform that have informed law reform activities in Canada and elsewhere.
The LCO has the following goals for its first mandate: the completion or substantial completion of six major projects and six narrowly-focused projects; the organization (in collaboration) of two to three conferences or symposia; achieve recognition for the high quality of its work; be recognized as a leader in law reform; be recognized for its consultative process; and achieve widespread recognition of its positive contribution to the legal landscape not only in Ontario, but also nationally.
The remainder of the Strategic Plan explains the approach of the LCO to law reform and to the selection and study of projects; it identifies the values that govern the LCO’s work; it suggests measures by which its performance can be measured; and it sets out the LCO’s objectives for 2008 and 2009, as well as reviews the achievement of those established for 2008.
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