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Ministry of Justice

National Archives launches legislation website

29 July 2010

Laptop browsing legislation website

The National Archives has launched a new website giving people easier and faster access to legislation, from the Magna Carta to the Data Protection Act.

The new site allows officials, lawyers and ordinary citizens to see the laws on which their legal rights and responsibilities are based, going back hundreds of years.

A simple web search will let people quickly find legislation making government more transparent while also saving time and money.

Justice Minister Lord McNally said: 'This is the public’s statute book. presents complex information in a clear and intuitive way. This groundbreaking work puts democracy at the heart of legislation and makes a major contribution to the government’s transparency agenda.'

Acting CEO of The National Archives, Oliver Morley, said:

'We’re making a bold statement in support of transparency today. By using the latest technology and opening up the raw data underpinning, The National Archives has given global access to the nation’s ‘operating system’

'I’m proud to say this website is the only example of its kind in the world. It provides access to an invaluable and historical resource for anyone wanting to know what the law actually says.'

The National Archives is a non-ministerial government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. As the official archive of the UK government, it preserves, protects and makes accessible one of the most significant historical collections of official records in the world, dating back over 1000 years.

Listen to Lord McNally talking about the new website in an interview on the BBC’s Today Programme.