- UK Parliament statutes
Statutes prior to 1963
Each piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom is known as an Act of Parliament. In the citation of the Act, the number(s) before the letters represents the years of the reign of the monarch during which the relevant parliamentary session was held. Parliamentary sessions did not coincide with calendar years, and usually they spanned more than one calendar year.
The citation here means that The Railways (Extension Time) Act is the 18th Act passed during the session that started in the 31st year of the reign of Victoria and which finished in the 32nd year of that reign.
Modern statutes (since 1963)
Each modern Act of Parliament commences with a ‘Short Title’, which is a relatively brief name almost invariably used to identify the Act. The Short Title also includes the year of enactment. This is followed by a chapter number, which denotes the sequential number of the Act in the calendar year.
The citation means that the Human Rights Act was the 42nd Act of Parliament passed in the year 1998.
2. Scottish Parliament statutes
The Scotland Act 1998 and the Scotland Act 2012 guarantee the power to the Scottish Parliament to create their own legislation in certain fields. Acts of the Scottish Parliament commence with a ‘Short Title’ (usually containing the word ‘Scotland’ in brackets and the year of enactment) followed by the acronym ‘asp’ (which stands for ‘Act of the Scottish Parliament’) and a number (which increases consecutively from number 1 with each Act in the calendar year).
This citation means that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act was the 1st Act of the Scottish Parliament passed in the year 2016.
- UK Statutory Instruments
The most familiar type of delegated legislation is the Statutory Instrument (SI). Statutory Instruments in the UK are centrally registered and issued with a number which resumes from ‘No. 1’ at the start of each calendar year.
2. Scottish Statutory Instruments
Each Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) made by the Scottish Government is in essentially the same form as the UK Statutory Instruments although cited using the prefix ‘SSI’. They are separately numbered, with the numbering resuming from ‘No. 1’ at the start of each calendar year.
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Taylor Library Team