Law Commission of India and Its Importance

The Law commission of India is a government authorized organization that is formed in conformity with the Indian laws. Primarily engaged in carrying out legal reforms, this government agency also acts as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The first Commission of Law, formed in 1834 and led by Lord Macaulay, had proposed for the codification of the two important legislation’s, the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. However, after independence, the Law Commission was formed again in 1955 and led by the Attorney-General Mr. M. C. Setalvad.

Things to Know about the Law Commission in India

The members of the Commission of Law comprise expert research personnel and legal professionals. The Commission invites suggestions and inputs from the public, and organizes seminars and workshops throughout the country for collecting inputs for legal reform proposals.

After collecting the requisite data, it is filtered and evaluated by the Law Commission’s staff. A detailed report is prepared by a Law Commission member on the basis of the information collected.

The report is thoroughly analyzed in the Commission’s meetings, which may last for hours. The finalization of the report is done after a consensus is reached among the members.

After finalization, the commission may decide on drafting amendments or recommending a new bill. Finally, the report, and the bill or the amendment is submitted to the government of India.

The Law Commission has implemented various strategies to collect valuable information and inputs from the public. The current Law Commission of India is led by Justice P. V. Reddi. You may mail your suggestions at the official e-mail id [email protected] addressed to Dr. Brahm A. Agrawal, the Member-Secretary of the Commission of Law.

Law Jargon Buster Part Two

Following on from the previous jargon buster, here are some more commonly used words in legal cases. It is important that you fully understand the terminology used, and if you ever need further assistance, your barrister will always be on hand to assist you.

Alibi

An alibi is a piece of evidence that proves someone who is accused of a crime was elsewhere when the offence was committed.

Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

This is a civil order made by a court that bans an individual from visiting certain areas at certain times. If an ASBO is breached, the offender can be put in prison for up to five years.

Bail

This is when someone accused of a crime is released while they await trial, usually after a sum of money has been paid.

Court of Appeal

The court of law that hears appeals against both civil and criminal judgements from all other courts including High Court, Crown Court and County Courts

Defendant

A defendant is a person, or other legal entity defending court action, which is being taken against them.

Direct Access

The ability to instruct a barrister directly, without having to use a solicitor. This covers areas such as employment law, family law and housing law.

Embezzlement

This is when someone misuses or thieves someone else’s belongings or money, particularly if the offender has violated trust.

Law Commission

The independent body arranged by parliament to ensure current laws are kept under review and reformed when necessary.

Magistrate

This is a member of the public who voluntarily administers the law in magistrate’s courts. They are trained in court procedures and do not need any official legal qualifications.

Negligence

Failing to take reasonable care of something or someone.

Preliminary Hearing

The first hearing to take place that decides which court the proceedings will take place, and when.

Probation

Probation is what someone is placed on after a period of good behaviour in detention.

Representative

In employment tribunals, this will be the person who is named on the claim form that will be representing throughout the claim.

Settlement

The agreement and resolution between two parties about a legal case before the court case begins.

Suspended Sentence

The delay of an offender’s service sentence after they have been found guilty, usually no sentence is served unless they commit another offence.

Witness Statement

The written document that is given as evidence in court cases, including tribunals.

Commercial Law – Payment of Commission – Commercial Agency Regulations – Commercial Agent

The case of Heirs of Paul Chevassus-Marche v Groupe Danone and Others (Case C-19/07) [2008], involved a determination on community laws relating to commercial agents. According to Article 7(2) of Council Directive (EEC) 86/653 (On the coordination of the laws of the member states relating to self-employed commercial agents) (“the Directive”):

“A commercial agent shall also be entitled to commission on transactions concluded during the period covered by the agency contract either where he was entrusted with a specific geographical area or group of customers… And where the transaction has been entered into with a customer belonging to that area or group…”.

Article 10 provides as follows:

“(1) The commission shall become due as soon as and to the extent that one of the following circumstances obtains:

(a) the principal has executed the transaction; or the principal should, according to his agreement with the third party, have executed the transaction; or…

(c) the third party has executed the transaction.

(2) The commission shall become due at the latest when the third party has executed his part of the transaction or should have done so if the principal had executed his part of the transaction, as he should have”.

In 1987, the first respondent in this case concluded an exclusive mandate with C. The applicants in this case were heirs to C’s estate. The exclusive mandate concerned the first respondent’s representation of C’s subsidiaries, namely the second and third respondents, in their dealings with the importers, wholesalers and retailers of their goods in a specific geographical area.

Before the termination of that contract, C requested payment of various sums. Such sums included commissions relating to purchases made by two companies established in his geographical area.

The requests for payment were refused on the ground that the purchases concerned had been made from central buying officers or dealers in metropolitan France, an area outside the control of the respondents, and without any action on C’s part.

C then brought an action concerning payment of commission.

The national court made a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The question concerned a request for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 7(2) of the Directive. The question referred by the national court was as to whether Article 7(2) of the directive was to be interpreted as meaning that:

“A commercial agent entrusted with a specific geographical area was entitled to commission where a commercial transaction between a third party and a customer belonging to that area had been concluded without any action, either direct or indirect, on the principal’s part”.

It was held as follows:

The court was of the opinion that

· Article 7(2) of the Directive had to be interpreted as meaning that a commercial agent entrusted with a specific geographical area did not have the right to a commission for transactions concluded by customers belonging to that area without any action, direct or indirect, on the part of the principal.

· Article 7(2) merely refers to any transactions concluded during the period covered by the agency contract. There is no requirement that those transactions had to be entered into with a customer belonging to a geographical area or a group of customers for whom the commercial agent was responsible.

· There is not an express requirement for action on the part of the principal, and there is no requirement for action on the part of the commercial agent.

· However, it should be noted that when considering Article 7(2) in conjunction with Article 10, the commercial agent’s right to commission arises either:

§ when the principal has (or should have) carried out his obligation; or

§ when the third party to the agency contract, namely, the customer, has (or should have) carried out his obligation.

· The presence of the principal in the transactions for which the commercial agent could claim commission was indispensable. It therefore followed that the commercial agent could claim commission. The commercial agent’s claim for commission could be made on the basis of a transaction only to the extent that the principal had acted, directly or indirectly, in the conclusion of that transaction.

· As a result, this meant that it was for the national court to establish:

“Whether or not the evidence before it, assessed in the light of the aim of protecting the commercial agent and of the obligation on the principal to act dutifully and in good faith, allowed it to establish the existence of such action, be that action of a legal nature”.

© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.