1. LEGAL GAZETTE
1.1. OverviewActs of parliament/statutory instruments
(published as separate titles; strictly speaking, there is no legal gazette in the United Kingdom)
Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO)
5th floor — 102 Petty France — London
Tel. +44 2033342774
Fax +44 2084971983
HMSO operates from within the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI); see point 1.4 for details.
Official journal/legal gazette Acts of parliament and statutory instruments (and the equivalents from the devolved parliament and assemblies) are published as separate titles and not as part of a legal gazette. There are annual bound editions of both the statutory instruments and all the acts of parliament produced in a year. These are bound and published in numerical order. The London Gazette, the Edinburgh Gazette and the Belfast Gazette are the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom;
see point 1.2 for details.
First edition Not applicable First online 1996
Paper edition Online edition CD/DVD edition Acts of parliament
From GBP 4 (EUR 5) to GBP 43.50 (EUR 54), depending on the number of pages Statutory instruments
From GBP 4 (EUR 5) to GBP 43.50 (EUR 54), depending on the number of pages Legislation may be purchased from the online bookshop of TSO (http://www.tso.co.uk), see point 1.4.
Selected acts of parliament, from 1837
All acts of parliament, from 1988
Acts of parliament with explanatory notes, from 1999
Statutory instruments, from 1987
Statutory instruments with explanatory memorandum, from June 2004 (for more details see point 1.3)
Access and price
No CD/DVD edition
1.2. Details on the legal gazette in generalActs of parliament and statutory instruments
- Acts of parliament
- Statutory instruments and their Scottish, Northern Ireland and Welsh equivalents
Legal basis The Head of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) is appointed by Royal Letters Patent as the Queen’s Printer of Acts of Parliament, Queen’s Printer for Scotland and Government Printer for Northern Ireland. Under various statutes relating to documentary evidence, it is only these ‘Queen’s Printer’ versions of legislation which have legal status. Legally binding Since 2002, legislation published on the Internet has carried the same official status as the printed edition.
NB: Strictly speaking, all legislation in the UK is judicially recognised whether it has been published or not. Publication is therefore not a legal prerequisite for its coming into force as is the case in Continental law systems. That is not to say, though, that legislation should not be published before it comes into force. Generally speaking there should be two months time between an act gaining royal assent and it coming into force.
Financing Sales revenue Other gazettes The London Gazette, Edinburgh Gazette and Belfast Gazette (first published 1665) are the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom. The Gazettes are the primary source of a wide range of official notices.
- State (including Royal Household), parliamentary and ecclesiastical notices
- Implementation of statutory instruments
- Corporate and personal insolvency notices, including petitions for winding-up of companies and notices relating to meetings of creditors
- Transport and planning notices
- Other public notices
- Trustee Act notices.
- The Queen’s Birthday and New Year’s Honours Lists
- Other honours and awards
- Details of unclaimed Premium Bond prize draw numbers
- Armed forces promotions and re-gradings
- Information on companies.
Created in 1998, the website now contains an archive of the Gazettes since their first publication in 1665.
1.3. Details on the online editionhttp://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/uk.htm
See also point 1.1
Content Legislation enacted by the UK Parliament (public and local acts) and the devolved parliament and assemblies. Delegated legislation (statutory instruments, draft statutory instruments) whether applied to the United Kingdom as a whole or to constituent parts of the UK (i.e. Scotland)
- From June 2004: the full text of the explanatory memorandum for statutory instruments laid before the UK Parliament, available in the statutory instruments pages
- UK Acts: all acts from 1988 to date and selected Acts from 1837 to 1987
- UK statutory instruments (SIs): 1987 to date
- Draft UK statutory instruments: 1997 to date
- Measures of the General Synod of the Church of England
- (Church Measures): 1988–2007
- Detailed list, including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
- Hyperlinks to other related acts and, where implementing EU law, to the relevant EU directives
- RSS feeds for new legislation (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/whatsnew.htm)
Authenticity A chain of confidence is used to guarantee the integrity of the workflow and the authenticity of the (electronically) published text. Archiving Having merged in October 2006 with the National Archives, the Office of Public Sector Information is in charge of archiving.
1.4. Details on the publishing institutionHer Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO)
from within the
Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) within
The National Archives
For contact details, please refer to point 1.1
Form and nature State agency, reporting to the Ministry of Justice HMSO/OPSI also has responsibility for encouraging the reuse of public sector information and for the management of Crown copyright. Basic tasks
- Pre-press: no (contracted out to private sector publisher — TSO (The Stationery Office Limited))
- Printing: no (contracted out to private sector publisher — TSO (The Stationery Office Limited)) )
- Dissemination/distribution: no (contracted out to private sector publisher — TSO (The Stationery Office Limited)) )
- Legal gazette online: yes )
- Legislation database: yes (since December 2008) )
- Consolidation: yes
Other services offered
- Management of Crown copyright
- Responsible for the publication of key government policy papers and advising government departments as to official publishing
- Responsibility for electronic archiving
- Online enquiry line (helpdesk)
1.5. Drafting and publishing procedures
Text processing system
- The processing system uses SGML and Microsoft Word packages for drafting and adapting texts. The drafting system for UK primary legislation (bills/acts) is based on use of Framemaker software (data converted to XML Schema format). The drafting system for Scottish and Northern Ireland primary legislation (bills/acts) is based on a Microsoft Word template (data converted to XML).
- The SI (statutory instrument) template system for all delegated legislation uses a Microsoft Word template (data formatted to XML Schema).
- Primary and secondary legislation are incorporated into a content management system based on the UK legislation XML Schema which has been published on the OPSI website (https://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/schema).
- Outputs are generated for print production in PDF, XML and X/HTML for publishing on the Internet and for supply to private sector law publishers. The latter utilise the XML data in their online databases.
Workflow All data from drafting through parliamentary consideration to publishing is transmitted electronically. Publishing
- Proofreading and editing is the responsibility of the legislative draftsmen and, in the case of acts, the Parliamentary Legislation Offices.
- The publication of acts takes place on the Internet as soon as the authorised texts are received from Parliament with the printed editions following several days later. Statutory instruments are published online simultaneously with publication in printed form.
- The paper and electronic editions are derived from the same final text file.
- The printing is done by TSO (The Stationery Office Limited), a private sector contractor appointed by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office to undertake the printing and publishing of all United Kingdom legislation. Legislation may be purchased from its online bookshop (www.tso.co.uk).
2. COLLECTIONS OF CONSOLIDATED LEGISLATION
The UK Statute Law Database (SLD)
For details, see point 3.2
For details, see point 3.2
|Body carrying out consolidation||The Legislation and Publishing Services Department within HMSO/OPSI (see point 1.4) and the Northern Ireland Statutory Publications Office (for legislation applying to Northern Ireland only)|
|Content||Official collection of primary legislation in force|
|Deadline for consolidation||The effects of new legislation are added as soon as possible after the legislation is received from The Stationery Office. There may, however, be a delay of a few days (up to two weeks in some cases) between the legislation being published on the website and the effects of it appearing in ‘Tables of legislative effects’. They list the repeals, amendments and other effects of legislation (primary and secondary) enacted from 2002 to the current year on the revised legislation held on SLD.|
3. LEGISLATIVE PORTALS AND ONLINE DATABASES
3.1. Official portalsAn official portal (http://www.legislation.gov.uk) is under development and is due to be launched by April 2010.
3.2. Official databasesFor the website with legislation online, see point 1.3
The UK Statute Law Database (SLD)
Content Primary legislation in consolidated form, secondary legislation since 1991 in non-consolidated form (some secondary legislation is also available in ‘revised form’, i.e. in a consolidated version), amendments and annotations Organisation responsible HMSO/OPSI since December 2008; see point 1.4 Access Free of charge Access via N-Lex N-Lex gives access to the online edition of published legislation (see point 1.3).
3.3. Additional information: other commonly used legal databasesBritish and Irish Legal Information Institute
(Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and Faculty of Law
University College Cork)JUSTIS
(Justis Publishing Limited (formerly Context Ltd))LexisNexis Butterworth Online Legislation
(LexisNexis, Butterworth)Westlaw UK
(Sweet and Maxwell, a part of Thomson Legal & Regulatory Limited)vLex