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On this page you will find links to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Glossary and information about the forthcoming Editorial Practice guide:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions: About this website

Questions: Legislation content on this website

Questions: Using legislation.gov.uk

Questions: Understanding legislation

Questions with Answers: About this website

Q. What has happened to the OPSI and Statute Law Database (SLD) websites?

A. Legislation.gov.uk brings together the legislative content currently held on the OPSI website and revised legislation from the Statute Law Database to provide a single legislation service that replaces the current services. The OPSI and SLD websites are in the process of being decommissioned with users re-directed to this new service.

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Q. Where can I access the Crown Copyright, Public Sector Information re-use and official publishing information that used to be on the OPSI?

A. Information previously included on the OPSI website in relation to Public Sector Information Re-use, IFTS and official publishing can now be found on The National Archives information management website.

Crown Copyright information remains on the OPSI website for the short term until it is migrated to The National Archives website.

Information relating to the SI template and the Statutory Practice Guide also remains on the OPSI website for the short term until migrated to legislation.gov.uk in a forthcoming release.

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Questions with answers: Legislation content on this website

Q. What legislation is held on legislation.gov.uk?

A. Legislation.gov.uk carries most (but not all) types of legislation and their accompanying explanatory documents. For a full list of legislation types held on legisliation.gov.uk see Browse Legislation. For further details of how complete our data set is for each type, click on a legislation type from the Browse Legislation page and see the colour coded bar for each year.

  • All legislation from 1988 – present day is available on this site (see ‘What legislation is missing’ for details of any known legislation we do not carry)
  • There are no secondary legislation items (e.g Statutory Instruments) available before 1988 as they are not available in a web-publishable format.
  • Most pre-1988 primary legislation is available on this site. In some cases we only have the original published (as enacted) version and no revised version. This occurs if the legislation was wholly repealed before 1991 and therefore was not included in the revised data set when it was extracted from Statutes in Force. In other cases we may only have a revised version if the original (as enacted) version is not available in a web-publishable format.

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Q. What content is missing from legislation.gov.uk?

A. At this time, we have not yet been able to migrate all the associated documents that accompany legislation such as Correction Slips; Tables of Origins and Destinations; Codes of Practice and the PDFs used to print the official paper copies of enacted legislation, or draft legislation. These items remain on the OPSI website for the short term, but will be accessible on this website in a future release.

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Q. Will I find new legislation on legislation.gov.uk?

A. Yes. Legislation.gov.uk is the official place of publication for newly enacted legislation. The aim is to publish legislation on legislation.gov.uk simultaneously or at least within 24 hours, of its publication in printed form. Any document which is especially complex in terms of its size or its typography may take longer to prepare and so a PDF version will be published first. Legislation detailed on the New Legislation page is listed by date published to this website.

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Q. Why isn’t the legislation I am looking for on this site?

A. There are three reasons why the item you are looking for is not on this site:

  1. It may be that we do not carry the item of legislation you are looking for because it is not available in a web publishable format. This is the most likely reason if you are looking for an old legislation item that was repealed before our basedate of 1991. You may be able to obtain a printed copy from The British Library which runs a photocopying service of official publications (including legislation) which they hold, or try the Parliamentary Archives website.
  2. It may be that the item of legislation has not yet been migrated to this site from the OPSI or SLD websites. If the legislation item is currently available on either of those sites at the moment, it will be included on legislation.gov.uk as soon as possible.
  3. We do not have a revised versions for the 10 acts below. It is planned that revised versions of the Social Security and Pensions Acts (a to e) and the Child Support Act (g) will be published to legislation.gov.uk later this year. In the meantime, The Department for Work and Pensions website carries revised versions of the Social Security Acts and Pensions Acts and the Child Support Act 1991. We regret that there are no timescales for the inclusion of the Taxes Acts listed.
    1. 1998 c.14 Social Security Act 1998
    2. 1995 c. 26 Pensions Act 1995
    3. 1993 c. 48 Pension Schemes Act 1993
    4. 1992 c. 5 Social Security Administration Act 1992
    5. 1992 c. 4 Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
    6. 1992 c. 12 Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992
    7. 1991 c. 48 Child Support Act 1991
    8. 1990 c. 1 Capital Allowances Act 1990
    9. 1988 c. 1 Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988
    10. 1970 c. 9 Taxes Management Act 1970

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Q. What legislation is available as revised?

A. Most types of primary legislation (e.g Acts, Measures, N.I. Orders in Council) are held in ‘revised’ form:

  • Public General Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament (1801 to date)
  • Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain (1707 – 1800)
  • Acts of the English Parliament (1267 – 1706)
  • Acts of the Scottish Parliament (1424 – 1707)
  • Acts of the Scottish Parliament (1999 to date)
  • Measures of the National Assembly for Wales (2008 to date)
  • Acts of the Irish Parliament (1495 – 1800)
  • Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland (1921 – 1972)
  • Measures of the Northern Ireland Assembly (1974)
  • Orders in Council made under the Northern Ireland Acts (1972 to date) (effectively the primary legislation for Northern Ireland under direct rule, though in the form of Statutory Instruments)
  • Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly (2000 – 2002 and 2007 to date)
  • Church of England Measures (1920 to date)

By ‘revised’ we mean that amendments made by subsequent legislation are incorporated into the text. Most types of secondary legislation are not revised and are held only in the form in which they were originally made.

The originating text of the revised content was derived mainly from the publication Statutes in Force (SIF), a 'loose-leaf' style official edition of the revised statute book arranged according to subject matter. SIF was regularly updated with the effects of new legislation made until 1 February 1991. The date of this final revision became the 'basedate' from which the revised content has been taken forward on the web. The other main source of revised legislation held on legislation.gov.uk is The Northern Ireland Statutes Revised, the official revised version of the primary legislation of Northern Ireland. The content of the numbered volumes and their supplements covering the period from 1921 onwards has been incorporated into legislation.gov.uk as it stood at 31 December 2005.

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Q. How up to date is the revised content on this website?

A. All legislation held on legislation.gov.uk in revised form has been updated with effects of legislation made up to 2002 (except for some effects of 2002 legislation that were not yet in force at the end of 2002). About half of all items of legislation are also up-to-date to the present. For the remainder there are still effects outstanding for at least one of the years 2003 to the current year. See the Changes to Legislation page for more information.

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Q. How will I know if the legislation I am viewing is up to date or if there are changes (e.g. effects or amendments) that have not yet been applied to it?

A. When you access an item of legislation, in the first instance a 'Changes to Legislation' message will appear at the top of the Table of Contents. This will either state that there are no known outstanding changes to the Act you are viewing or that there are some outstanding changes yet to be applied by the legislation.gov.uk Editorial Team. On opening the content of any item of legislation that has outstanding changes and effects waiting to be applied to it by the editorial team the outstanding effects are listed at the top of the provision.

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Q. How up to date are the lists of outstanding changes in the red Changes to Legislation box at the top of legislation items?

A. The changes to legislation (e.g. effects and amendments) displayed at the top of the page when you are viewing revised legislation are added as soon as possible after the legislation is received. There will usually, however, be some delay between the publication of new legislation to the website and the effects of it appearing in the changes to legislation feature. In most cases the delay will be less than two weeks.

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Q. Who produces the latest revised version of the legislation?

A. The revised content on legislation.gov.uk is produced by the legislation.gov.uk Editorial Team at The National Archives in London and the staff of the Northern Ireland Statutory Publications Office in Belfast. For further details see About us.

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Questions and answers: Using legislation.gov.uk

Q. How do I open a whole Act on legislation.gov.uk?

A. Once you have completed a search on legislation and have selected an item of legislation, you will be taken to the Table of Contents for that item of legislation. From this page you can open the legislation at any level by selecting opening options on the left-hand menu. It is also possible to use ‘print options’ to generate a PDF of the whole Act.

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Q. I don’t understand the tooltips where can I get more help using the site?

A. A full Glossary of terms used on this site both in the helptips and within the functionality is available at the foot of this page.

An Editorial Practice Guide which will give an overview of the approach the legislation.gov.uk Editorial Team takes when applying changes and effects to the latest revised versions of legislation is currently in development.

If you can not find the answer you are looking for on this page please contact us

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Q. What are annotations?

A. Annotations are notes that appear at the foot of a piece of legislative text on legislation.gov.uk. They are mainly used to provide the authority for amendments or other effects on the legislation, but they may also be used to convey other editorial information.

Each annotation has a reference number and the nature of the information it contains is conveyed by the annotation type. For instance, F-notes identify amendments where there is authority to change the text, and I-notes contain information about the coming into force of a provision.

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Q. Can I search by subject?

A. It is not currently possible to search legislation on this site by subject. It is likely that we will implement a facility to enable users to search Secondary Legislation by subject in a later release.

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Q. There are some features that I could use on the old sites that are not this site. Are these pieces of functionality that you are going to implement later?

A. There is some functionality currently available on the Statute Law Database and OPSI websites that is not yet available on legislation.gov.uk. This functionality will be addedd in a future release. Functionality includes:

  • Inclusion of Welsh Language text
  • Explanatory Notes Interweave
  • Inclusion of associated documents including correction slips
  • Full Content Search
  • Geograhical Extent Search on Revised Legislation
  • Confers power to make subordinate legislation details alongside each Act
  • Blanket Amendment details alongside each Act

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Q. How can I give feedback on legislation.gov.uk

A. We would welcome any feedback or comments you have about legislation.gov.uk. Please email us your feedback.

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Questions with answers: Understanding legislation

Q. Can you help me to find the law on a particular subject?

A. We regret that we are unable to carry out any research on your behalf. Legislation.gov.uk exists as an online resource enabling users to carry out their own research using the search facilities provided. You should bear in mind that the law on any given subject may be contained in many different statutes or statutory instruments and there may be other sources of relevant law, such as case law, that are not held on legislation.gov.uk. For example, you might want to know what the law is concerning ‘direct debits’ and searches on legislation.gov.uk using these terms produce no results. In fact, the law concerning direct debits is not directly governed by statute law at all – it is founded in the common law of contract and is mainly regulated by a non-statutory set of rules together with case law. Our staff do not have the legal knowledge to answer this sort of question and we do not have the resources to carry out the necessary research ourselves on users’ behalf. You may be able to obtain assisstance with researching a legal subject by contacting a law library.

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Q. Can you give me advice about a legal problem?

A. We regret that we are unable to provide you with any legal advice, not even advice concerning the correct interpretation of legislation. Our role is to publish legislation and our task in relation to the revision of legislation is purely an editorial one. We do not have any sources of legal advice at our disposal and we do not have the resources to carry out the research that would be necessary to provide you with any advice. You may be able to obtain advice about your legal problem from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

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Glossary

Where a term defined below begins with a capital letter, this indicates that the term usually begins with a capital letter when it is used in legislation or in annotations.

Act

A law enacted by a parliament or similar legislative body. In the UK, Acts may be made by the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament or the Northern Ireland Assembly. Historically, Acts were also made by the parliaments that met before the UK came into existence and by the Parliament of Northern Ireland (1921 to 1972).

Acts are a form of primary legislation.

affected provision

A provision (e.g. a section) subject to one or more changes or effects.

affecting provision

A provision that gives rise to one or more changes or effects.

amendment

An effect that changes the text of legislation. The term ‘amended’ is also sometimes used on legislation.gov.uk to indicate an effect that changes the meaning of the legislation even though the text itself is not changed.

annotation

A note that appears at the foot of a provision (or under the associated heading if relating to a higher-level division) and which gives authority for an effect or extra information about the provision in general or a specific part of that provision.

Each annotation has a reference number and the nature of the information it contains is conveyed by the annotation type. For instance, F-notes identify amendments where there is authority to change the text, and I-notes contain information about the coming into force of a provision.

basedate

The term we use for the starting point from which the revision of legislation on legislation.gov.uk (and previously on the UK Statute Law Database) has been carried forward. It is the date to which the text of the earlier hard copy editions had been revised when used as the originating text for the electronic version.

For most types of revised legislation on legislation.gov.uk, the basedate is 1 February 1991.

The originating text for most types of legislation was derived mainly from ‘Statutes in Force’ (SIF), an earlier official edition of the revised statute book. The final revision of SIF incorporated all effects of legislation made or enacted up to 1 February 1991, but the effects of a small number of consolidation Acts enacted after the basedate, in 1991 and 1992, were also incorporated.

For the revised legislation of Northern Ireland on legislation.gov.uk, the basedate is 1 January 2006.

The originating text for this legislation was ‘The Northern Ireland Statutes Revised’, the official edition of the revised statute book for Northern Ireland. The final revision of that text incorporated all effects of legislation made or enacted up to 31 December 2005.

blanket amendment

An effect that is framed in such a way as to affect legislation generally rather than any specific enactment.

C-notes - Modifications etc (not altering text)

‘C’ stands for ‘Cross-notes’, so called because of the way in which they were presented in the hard copy predecessors to the revised content on legislation.gov.uk. This annotation type is used to denote the effect when the meaning, scope or application of an Act or provision etc. is changed in some way, but without there being any authority to alter the text. Typical expressions of effects of this kind are ‘modified’, ‘applied’, ‘excluded’, ‘extended’, ‘restricted’, etc.

changes

The terms ‘changes’ and ‘changes to legislation’ are sometimes used on this site instead of the term ‘effects’.

Chapter
  1. The sequential number of an Act (except an Act of the Scottish Parliament) is called a ‘Chapter number’. For example, the Police Reform Act 2002 is Chapter 30 in the year 2002. ‘Chapter’ is usually abbreviated:
    Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 30)
  2. A numbered level of division within an Act or other legislation. Chapters generally come below Parts but above cross-headings in the hierarchy.
Church Instrument

A type of secondary legislation made by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York under authority contained in Church Measures.

"coming into force" date

The date on which a legislative provision or an effect comes into force. Also known as the commencement date.

commencement

The coming into force of a provision or an effect.

The commencement of a piece of legislation may be determined by a provision of the legislation itself, referred to as the ‘commencement provision', or it may be determined by a special type of Statutory Instrument known as a ‘Commencement Order’.

confers power

This term is used where a provision confers power to make secondary legislation.

cross-heading

In primary legislation, an italic heading that indicates the subject matter of a provision or group of provisions beneath it. In the hierarchical structure of legislation, it comes below Part or Chapter level but above the level of the lowest level of provision, such as the section in an Act.

It is called a cross-heading because it is usually centred, running across the page. However, in the new style of drafting adopted for most primary legislation since 2001, cross-headings in Schedules (but not in the main body) are ranged left.

Note that in secondary legislation there are elements called cross-headings that may appear differently to those in primary legislation and do not necessarily serve the same function.

E-notes – Geographical Extent information

This annotation type contains information about the geographic extent of the Act or relevant part of it.

E-notes are at present used very sparingly, mainly to indicate some complexity or change in the extent which is not adequately reflected in the extent provision of the Act (although they have been used more extensively in the past). They are also used where there are multiple versions of a provision created for different geographical extents.

effect

Any impact that one legislative provision may have on another. The most familiar type of effect is an amendment that changes the text of the affected legislation, but there are also types of effect that do not change the text, such as where a provision is said to be ‘modified’ or ‘applied’. Other events, such as the commencement of a provision, are also treated as effects for the purposes of legislation.gov.uk.

Note that a piece of legislation, such as an Act, may contain internal effects. For example, a provision in an Act may modify or apply some other provision in the same Act. These internal effects are not generally annotated. The main exception is where an Act amends its own text, which may happen, for example, when an Act repeals itself, or part of itself, at some future date. Also, certain internal effects to do with commencement and extent may be recorded.

Executive Note

An Executive Note sets out a brief statement of the purpose of a Scottish Statutory Instrument and provides information about its policy objective and policy implications. It aims to make the Scottish Statutory Instrument accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Executive Notes accompany any Scottish Statutory Instrument or Draft Scottish Statutory Instrument laid before the Scottish Parliament from July 2005 onwards.

exercise of power

This expression may be used in annotations in a provision that confers power to make secondary (or subordinate) legislation to record the making of instruments under that power.

Explanatory Note

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act (or Measure) to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Explanatory Memorandum

An Explanatory Memorandum sets out a brief statement of the purpose of a Statutory Instrument or a Northern Ireland Order in Council and provides information about its policy objective and policy implications. It aims to make the Statutory Instruments or Orders accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. EMs accompany any Statutory Instrument or Draft Statutory Instrument laid before Parliament from June 2004 onwards and any Statutory Rule laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly (or UK Parliament during the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly) since June 2004.

F-notes - Amendments (Textual)

F’ stands for ‘Footnotes’. This annotation type is used for amendments, including repeals, where there is authority to change the text.

division

A term we use to denote any one of the hierarchical levels into which a piece of legislation may be divided.

For instance, the two main divisions of an Act are the main body and the schedules, and these are preceded by the long title, the short title and any other introductory text. Lower levels of division within the main body and schedules may include Parts, Chapters and cross-headings. The lowest levels of division in an Act are sections (in the main body) or paragraphs (in the schedules).

For further information see Structure of Legislation.

geographical extent

The geographical area within the UK to which legislation applies.

Each extent is represented by one of, or a combination of, England (E), Wales (W), Scotland (S) and Northern Ireland (NI). Thus, a UK extent is E+W+S+NI and a GB extent is E+W+S. This information can be displayed within revised legislation when it is being viewed by selecting ‘show geographical extent’ in the left-hand column.

Every version of every provision, and every higher level of division, within a piece of legislation is assigned its own extent. In the case of higher levels of divisions the extent will be set wide enough to include the extent of all the provisions within it.

In some limited cases there may be multiple versions created to represent differing geographical extents (previously referred to as concurrent versions of the Statue Law Database). Two or more versions of a provision (or other level of division of legislation) will be created where a substitution of text (or of the whole provision etc.) affects only part of the original geographical extent of the provision. Such versions have the same start date and continue to run alongside one another.

For instance, if there is a substitution of text in a provision that extends to the whole of the UK, but the substitution affects Wales only, two versions result: one for the provision in its unamended state to cover England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and one for the provision as amended to cover Wales.

hierarchy

‘Hierarchy’ and ‘hierarchical structure’ are terms we use to denote the levels of division within a piece of legislation on legislation.gov.uk and the relationship between them. For example, the level of a cross-heading in an Act comes below the Part level in the hierarchy, but above the section level.

I-notes - Commencement information

‘I’ stands for ‘In-force’. This annotation type contains information about the coming into force of a provision and will typically state whether it is partly or wholly in force, give the date or dates of commencement and cite relevant provisions of the Act and any commencing instruments.

At present, I-notes are used only if there is some complexity in the commencement. If the provision came into force on one day for all purposes, no I-note will be created and the in-force date will be the same as the start date of the earliest version of the provision.

insertion

Describes a specific type of amendment that one piece of legislation has on another i.e. where new text is inserted into existing text. If the new text is to be placed at the end of the existing text, the term ‘added’ may be used instead.

introductory text

A term we use to denote the text elements at the top of an item of legislation, below the title (or short title) but above the main body. In an Act, this will typically consist of the long title, the date the Act received the Royal Assent, and a conventional form of words to give effect to the Act called the ‘words of enactment’.

Latest available (revised):

The latest available revised version of the legislation incorporating changes (i.e. amendments and other effects) made by subsequent legislation and applied by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text can be found listed under ‘Changes to Legislation’.

legislation

The generic term for laws of any type. The terms ‘piece of legislation’ and ‘item of legislation’ are used within some of our help information to mean a whole legislative document of any type, for example an Act or Statutory Instrument.

long title

Acts and Measures have two titles, the ‘short title’ and the ‘long title’. The ‘long title’ sets out the purposes of the Act, sometimes at great length, whereas the ‘short title’ is a more convenient short form by which the Act will usually be known. For example, the Petroleum Act 1998 (short title) has a long title that reads:

‘An Act to consolidate certain enactments about petroleum, offshore installations and submarine pipelines.’

On legislation.gov.uk, the long title forms part of the introductory text of the legislation.

M-notes - Marginal citations

This annotation type is so called because it used to appear in the margin of the Queen’s Printer’s copy of primary legislation. M-notes recite the year and number of an Act or instrument mentioned in the text.

"made" date

The date on which a Statutory Instrument, or other item of secondary legislation, is formally brought into being. It may come into force at a different date. Secondary legislation is usually said to be ‘made’, as opposed to Acts and other primary legislation which are usually said to be ‘enacted’. For this reason, the phrase ‘made or enacted’ may be used on this site when referring to legislation generally.

Measure
  1. A type of primary legislation passed by the General Synod of the Church of England – see Church of England Measures.
  2. A type of primary legislation passed by the short-lived Northern Ireland Assembly in 1974 (the present Northern Ireland Assembly passes Acts) – see Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly (and other primary legislation for Northern Ireland).
  3. A type of primary legislation passed by the National Assembly for Wales – see Measures of the National Assembly for Wales.
Order in Council

A type of Statutory Instrument, notably used to make primary legislation for Northern Ireland during periods of direct rule.

Original (As enacted or as made):

The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

P-notes - Subordinate legislation made

‘P’ stands for ‘Power exercised’. Where a provision of primary legislation confers power to make subordinate legislation and that power is exercised (i.e. an instrument is made in pursuance of it), that exercise may be recorded in a P-note. The annotation will cite any instruments made under that power.

At present, the P-note annotation type is used only in respect of the making of commencement orders (distinguished by a ‘C’ series number after the number of the instrument) or other exercises of a power to appoint a day.

paragraph

A provision, usually numbered, constituting on legislation.gov.uk the lowest level of division in a Schedule. (But note that the term ‘paragraph’ may also be used in legislation to denote certain levels of sub-division within a provision.)

Part

A division of the main body or a schedule in an item of legislation, usually forming part of a numbered sequence of Parts.

A Part may be further subdivided hierarchically into Chapters, cross-headings and numbered sections (or paragraphs, if in a schedule).

power

Generally used on legislation.gov.uk to mean a power to make secondary (or subordinate) legislation contained in a provision that ‘confers power’. The making of an item of secondary legislation in pursuance of such a power is referred to as an ‘exercise of power’.

preamble

Words appearing near the beginning of an Act after the long title, stating the reasons for passing the Act. The use of preambles is optional and they are now rare. Any preamble would appear in the introductory text.

primary legislation

General term used to describe the main laws passed by the legislative bodies of the UK (e.g. an Act of the UK Parliament). It is to be distinguished from secondary legislation.

prospective

A term we use to indicate that a provision or an amendment has not yet come into force.

prospective version

A version of a provision (or other level of division of legislation) with no start date, created as a result of an amendment that has not yet come into force.

provision

The term provision is used to describe a definable element in a piece of legislation that has legislative effect. Most commonly in the help documentation and messages on this site it will be used to refer to a section (or corresponding element such as a paragraph in a Schedule or an article in an Order) but it can also refer to higher level divisions such as Parts or Chapters.

Regnal years

Regnal years refer to the year of the sovereign’s reign for the session of parliament in which the Act was passed and may be referenced when citing legislation made pre-1963.

repeal

Describes a specific type of amendment where existing text ceases to have effect and may also be removed from the legislation. Repeals may also relate to a whole Act. The amending legislation may alternatively (or, in many cases, additionally) specify that words or provisions ‘shall be omitted’ or ‘shall cease to have effect’. (Where this last expression only is used, we do not treat this as authority to remove the text.)

repeals schedule

A schedule in an item of legislation, usually at the end, in which the legislative provisions repealed by that legislation are listed.

revised legislation

We use the terms ‘revise’, ‘revised’ and ‘revision’ to refer to the editorial process of incorporating amendments and carrying through other effects into legislation.

Schedule

An item of legislation may have one or more schedules following the main body. Where this is the case, the Schedules (collectively) constitute a major structural division within the legislation. Within this higher level of division, there may be either a single Schedule or a series of numbered Schedules.

Scottish Statutory Instrument

A type of secondary legislation made under authority contained in Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

secondary legislation

Delegated legislation, such as a Statutory Instrument, made by a person or body under authority contained in primary legislation. It is also referred to as ‘subordinate legislation’.

section

A provision, usually numbered, constituting on legislation.gov.uk the lowest level of division in the main body of an Act or other primary legislation.

short title

The title by which an Act or Measure is usually known. It is to be distinguished from the long title, which sets out the purposes of the legislation.

start date

The start date of a version is the earliest date for which it had effect to any extent or for any purpose.

statute

An item of primary legislation, such as an Act or Measure.

statute book

A term we use to denote the totality of the statute law in force at any particular time.

Statutory Instrument

A type of secondary legislation made under authority contained in Acts of Parliament.

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

A type of secondary legislation, they are the Northern Ireland equivalent of Statutory Instruments.

Stop Date

The date on which a version is succeeded by a new version or otherwise ceases to have effect.

subordinate legislation

See secondary legislation.

sub-provision

Any sub-division of a provision.

substitution

Describes a specific type of amendment where existing text is replaced by new text.

successive versions

A successive version of a provision (or higher level of division of legislation) is a new version that replaces an earlier version. A new version is created whenever the text is amended.

Timeline of Changes

Facility on legislation.gov.uk providing access to revised legislation as it stood at specific points in time. The dates displayed on the timeline of any given provision are based on the start date of the amendment or amendments that gave rise to a new version of the provision to be created at that date. The timeline can be used to navigate through the versions to see how the provision being viewed has changed over time or may change in the future.

version
  1. On this site ‘version’ may to refer the ‘as enacted’ version of the legislation or the ‘latest available (revised)’ version. This information will be displayed in the ‘What Version’ area when viewing legislation.
  2. ‘Version’ is also used in the context of revised legislation to refer to one of any number of versions of a provision (or higher level of division of legislation) that may exist in any number of different versions, usally created as a result of amendments made to it. These versions can be viewed by showing the Timeline of Changes.
Wales Statutory Instrument

A type of Statutory Instrument relating specifically to Wales made under authority contained either in Acts of Parliament or in Measures of the National Assembly of Wales.

words of enactment

Formal words of legislative intent appearing at the beginning of an Act after the Long Title. Words of enactment appear in the introductory text.

X-notes - Editorial information

The X-note annotation type is used sparingly to alert users to anything they may need to be aware of in using the text. They have been used, for example, to explain potential difficulties arising from variations in pre-SLD editorial practice over the years or to point to uncertainties in the text of very old Acts.

Editorial Practice Guide

The Editorial Practice guide is currently in development. It will provide comprehensive and detailed information about how the legislation.gov.uk editorial team update legislation.