Dalhousie Law Journal


law reform, Law Reform Commision of Canada, lawyers, academia, jurisprudence


The void left by the demise of the Law Reform Commission of Canada (LRCC) in 1991 presents an opportunity to rethink the scope and legitimacy of law reform as it has been conceptualized and practised by academic lawyers. I am concerned that the dominant meaning ascribed to the term "federal law reform" under the tenure of the LRCC was partial, inadequate, and ultimately conservatizing in its influence. In reviewing past commentary on law reform in Canada, I have been struck by the recurring themes that emerged from the literature. I was particularly impressed by an exceptional piece written by the late Dalhousie scholar, Professor Robert Samek, entitled "Social Law Reform."' What I hope to offer is a somewhat updated perspective on what ailed institutional law reform efforts in the past and what we might do differently in the future.