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  • What I have proposed is that we should have begun to think seriously about a thorough reform in the legal system.
  • What I am proposing is that we begin to think seriously about a thorough reform in the legal system.

Which one is the correct one. For me the latter seems correct as in suggestions "should" may be omitted and " I am proposing" is in present form. But some of my colleagues made me confuse, please could you help me ?!

  • It depends what you want to say. To paraphrase your words as they are written, the first sentence reports that you said 'I propose that we should have already begun to think about this by now' (ie your proposal was that the thinking should already have started). The second sentence reports that you said 'I propose that we start to think about this now' (ie you proposed that the action of thinking about reform should happen after your statement had been made). The first seems an unlikely sentence to use (though it's perfectly possible!); I think the latter is correct for your purposes. – Kiloran_speaking May 4 '17 at 12:52
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I take no oath, but I believe both sentences are grammatically/syntactically correct.

There's a difference in meaning, though.

1. What I have proposed vs 2. What I am proposing

connote a proposal made at an earlier point than the time of speaking/writing

vs

a proposal made now, as we speak/write.

That is, of course, at a literal interpretation of the sentences. In practice, I 'd say the latter might be used to connote the former, but not vice-versa.

1. we should have begun to think seriously about a thorough reform in the legal system

vs

2. we begin to think seriously about a thorough reform in the legal system

First sentence is not really a proposal/suggestion, in the literal sense of the word. You are rather underlining the importance of thinking seriously about a thorough reform in the legal system, by stressing that it should actually have already begun. No further delays, fellows!

In the second sentence you are indeed suggesting that these consideration should begin.

Let's hope this wasn't too vague...

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