Recent publications by law reform bodies worldwide

AuthorEilionóir Flynn - Joe Mcgrath
PositionB.C.L. (N.U.I.), Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University College Cork - B.C.L. (N.U.I.), Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University College Cork
2008] Law Reform Update 209
A. Australia
Privilege in Perspective: Client Legal Privilege in Federal
Final Report (ALRC 107)
December 2007
This Report combines the conceptual issues surrounding
client legal privilege with the practice of federal investigative
bodies as discussed in an earlier Discussion Paper (DP 73)
produced by the Commission. The Report also contains a number
of recommendations for reform of the current legal framework,
taking into account the views of various parties involved in the
investigative process. It was commissioned by the Attorney
General in the context of the rapidly increasing number of federal
agencies with investigative powers which have been operating in
Australia in recent years. The Report also affirms that the doctrine
of client legal privilege remains a fundamental principle of the
common law, and that insofar as problems have occurred in
relation to claims of client legal privilege, these lie broadly in the
area of practice and procedure rather than rationale.
The main recommendation of this Report is that the Federal
Australian parliament should enact legislation of general
application to protect client legal privilege claims in federal
investigations, where federal bodies use coercive information-
gathering powers. The Commission recommends that any new
legislation should clearly set out the situations where client legal
B.C.L. (N.U.I.), Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University College Cork.
B.C.L. (N.U.I.), Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University College Cork.
Judicial Studies Institute Journal [2008:1
privilege can be modified or abrogated. Since Australia is a
federal legal system, the Commission also recommends that the
Attorney General of Australia would initiate a process to
encourage all states and territories within Australia to enact
legislation in accordance with the federal standard. In relation to
the abrogation or modifications which the legislation could
recognise as legitimately limiting client legal privilege, the Report
recommends that these exceptions should take into account the
subject of the investigation and its importance, whether there is
any alternative means of obtaining the information in a timely and
complete manner, and whether the information is vital to the
success of the investigation in question. A full list of
recommendations precedes the main body of the Report.
B. British Columbia
Predatory Lending Issues in Canada
CCEL Report No. 4 / BCLI Study Paper No. 3
February 2008
This Study Paper was prepared by the Canadian Centre for
Elder Law, a division of the British Columbia Law Institute. It
aims to promote discussion on the issue of predatory lending in
Canada. Predatory lending occurs when a lender deceptively
persuades a borrower to agree to abusive loan terms. The Paper
suggests that the issue is closely related to abuses in the sub-
prime loan market whereby vulnerable borrowers are victimised
due to their desperate financial circumstances. In particular, it
emphasises that the elderly are especially vulnerable to predatory
victimisation because of their reliance on fixed incomes, the
substantial concentration of equity vested in their homes and their
unfamiliarity with the credit market.
The Study Paper is split into six parts. Part 1 challenges the
assumption that predatory lending practices are infrequent in
Canada. Part 2 analyses the issues raised by predatory lending
practices. Part 3 discusses the factors in the Canadian mortgage
market that may encourage or deter the development of such
2008] Law Reform Update 211
practices. Part 4 highlights the inadequacies of the existing
Canadian legal measures to remedy abusive lending practices;
measures which it suggests are outdated and piecemeal. Part 5
summarises several options for reform of the law which are based
on American legislation and the suggestions of leading academics
in the field of predatory lending. Part 6 calls for further research
into predatory lending issues in Canada and urges the legislature
to acknowledge the issue. Though the Paper suggests that
predatory lending is an emerging issue and that it would be
premature to call for law reform at such an early stage, it is clear
from the content and tone of the Paper that the Institute believes
that some reform of the law should be implemented.
C. England and Wales
Insurable Interest
Issues Paper 4
January 2008
This Paper was drafted by the teams working on the
insurance contract law review at the English and Scottish Law
Commissions and sets out a number of tentative proposals on
reforming the law of insurable interest. Insurable interest requires
that an insurance policy holder must gain a benefit from the
preservation of the subject matter of the insurance or suffer a
disadvantage if it is lost. The Paper notes that the law is very
complex due not only to inconsistent legislation but also due to
differences between different types of insurance. The Paper
distinguishes between the different types of insurance including
indemnity and non-indemnity insurance and discusses a number
of related issues.
The Paper identifies a number of problems with the current
law. It suggests that the rules are particularly restrictive with
regard to life assurance. In particular the Paper highlights
concerns relating to the legal recognition of life insurance policies
taken by non-spouses, the unsuitability of assignment as a remedy
in this regard, the limitations relating to the insurance of

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT