Judicial Reforms

Appointment of the Law Commission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Law Commission

Mains level: Law Commission and its function

The Supreme Court has asked the Home and Law Ministries to explain the nearly three-year-long lapse in making appointments to the Law Commission.

Try this PYQ:

Q.The power to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court of India is vested in

(a) The President of India

(b) The Parliament

(c) The Chief Justice of India

(d) The Law Commission

What is the news?

  • The posts of Chairperson and Members have been vacant ever since the 21st Law Commission under the former Supreme Court judge, Justice B.S. Chauhan completed its tenure in August.
  • The government approved the constitution of the 22nd Law Commission on February 19 last.
  • However, it has not appointed the Chairperson and Members to date.

What is the Law Commission?

  • It is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India. The first law commission of independent India was established post Independence in 1955
  • Tenure: 3 Years
  • Function: Advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice for “Legal Reforms in India”
  • Recommendations: NOT binding
  • First Law Commission was established during the British Raj in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833
  • Chairman: Macaulay; It recommended for the Codifications of the IPC, CrPC etc.


The 22nd Law Commission will be constituted for a period of three years from the date of publication of its Order in the Official Gazette. It will consist of:

  1. a full-time Chairperson;
  2. four full-time Members (including Member-Secretary)
  3. Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member;
  4. Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member; and
  5. not more than five part-time Members.

Terms of reference

  • The Law Commission shall, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo-motu, undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.
  • It shall also undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in the cost of litigation, etc.

The Law Commission of India shall, inter-alia: –

  • identify laws that are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed
  • examine the existing laws in the light of DPSP and Preamble
  • consider and convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);
  • Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through the Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);
  • take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor;
  • revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities, and inequities

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