Bringing the statute book up to date

An Act from 1979 allowing referendums for a Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly is among legislation being recommended for repeal by the Law Commissions.

In a report published today the Law Commission for England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission propose clearing away more than 200 old laws that are cluttering up the statute book. The Acts being recommended for repeal are set out in a draft Statute Law (Repeals) Bill attached to the report.

The Bill covers a wide range of topics from agriculture and churches to trade and industry and taxation. The earliest repeal is from the Statute of Marlborough 1267. Passed during the reign of Henry III, the Statute is one of the oldest surviving pieces of legislation. The most recent repeal is part of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007.

Sir David Lloyd Jones, Chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales, and Lord Pentland, Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission, said:

“The Law Commissions of England and Wales, and of Scotland, are committed to cleaning up and modernising our legislation. The statute book is littered with dead law from down the centuries. Obsolete provisions from as far back as the 13th century continue to survive long after they have ceased to serve any useful purpose.

“This Statute Law Repeals Bill is the result of rigorous research and thorough consultation. If implemented, its provisions will help to make the law easier to understand and simpler to use.”