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Legislation.gov.uk, formerly the UK Statute Law Database is the official web-accessible database of the statute law of the United Kingdom, hosted by The National Archives. It contains all primary legislation in force as of 1991, and all primary and secondary legislation since that date; it does not include legislation which was fully repealed prior to 1991. The contents have been revised to reflect legislative changes up to 2002, with material that has been amended since 2002 noted in a table but not yet fully updated.
In December 2008 the Statute Law Database team transferred to The National Archives, which meant that the responsibility for the OPSI and SLD websites became the responsibility of one department. A major consideration of the transfer was to enable the rationalisation of the two websites in order to provide one point of access to all UK legislation and in doing so reduce duplication in effort, increase efficiency (for example taking advantage of technological developments to streamline processes) and provide a more user friendly and accessible service across the board. Since December 2008 a considerable amount of work has taken place to look at who the customers of the joint services are and look carefully at their requirements.
The content of the new Statute Law Database consists of the combined content of the previous UK Statute Law Database (SLD), and the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website. Updated legislation on the new website is the same data as that available on SLD. The only exceptions are a few acts that are being updated by the editorial team that are available on SLD but will not be available on the new site until the revisions are complete and they are ready to be published to SLD and the new website. Many of the revised documents held by SLD are also available in the OPSI dataset as an “as enacted” version. The new website combines these so one can switch between the different versions.
Aspects of the new site:
Access to statute law in the United Kingdom was, for some time, a difficult matter. As the Hansard Society noted in 1992, "[a]t present the accessibility of statute law to users and the wider public is slow, inconvenient, complicated and subject to several impediments. To put it bluntly, it is often very difficult to find out what the text of a law is – let alone what it means. Something must be done."
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