The process of law reform : focus on the new B. C. companies act
University of British Columbia
Master of Laws - LLM
This thesis is an investigation of the process of law reform as it was illustrated by the Corporate Legislation Committee of the Department of the Attorney-General, for British Columbia in its drafting of a new Companies Act. To provide the context for this study, the opening chapter briefly surveys the work that has been done up to the present in law reform as a subject for investigation. The necessity for an understanding of the workings of semi-official and official bodies to which the governments are more and more frequently assigning problems of law- reform is stressed. The next portion of the thesis begins the study of the work of the Corporate Legislation Committee. Its method of procedure and the criteria it ultimately selected, to guide its drafting of the new act are analysed in terms of the Committee's structure and the major trends in company law reform. Then four areas of the new statute are selected to correspond with and represent the four major areas of change into which the Committee divided its work. These areas are assessed for the influence they reveal of the form, procedure and policy of the Committee. Each in turn is examined through its legislative history, its background of law in this and other countries, and the way with which it has been dealt by other major law reform proposals. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the actual sections drafted by the Committee. The thesis concludes that in the case of this ad hoc law reform body, there was a very close connection between the criteria it selected as a guideline for reform and the changes it made in the Companies Act. However, because of the Committee's structure and methods of procedure, these criteria were formulated in isolation from many of the practical economic realities of companies today. They were generally conservative in policy, and drawn largely from the work of other law reform projects in company law. The sections of the new act examined reflect these limitations. Generally, they fulfill well the goals of limited change selected by the Committee.
Law, Peter A. Allard School of