Digest No. 1822
The aim of the Bill is to repeal “31 Acts that have been identified as spent, meaning they no longer have any actual effect, or have very limited effect, and are out of date”
This Bill is introduced under Standing Order 259(b).
Standing Order 259 provides as follows:
“Other omnibus bills
An omnibus bill to amend more than one Act may be introduced if—
the amendments deal with an interrelated topic that can be regarded as implementing a single broad policy, or
the amendments to be effected to each Act are of a similar nature in each case, or
the Business Committee has agreed to the bill’s introduction as an omnibus bill”.
Standing Order 259(b) appears to have been used occasionally for the making of similar amendments to Patents, Copyright, Layout Design, Animal Varieties and other intellectual property Acts which implemented an international covenant. A particular previous use of Standing Order 259(b) was the Statutory References Bill which accompanied the Civil Union Bill.
Standing Order 259(b) has not been often used as it is in this Bill which repeals Acts quite disparate in nature with the common purpose being merely repeal as such. But the amendment to be effected to each Act (i.e. repeal) is certainly “of a similar nature in each case”.
Many of the Acts being repealed are themselves Acts which have repealed other Acts and therefore in themselves do not regulate. But those repeal Acts do not have to remain on the statute book as any on-going legal effects of repealed statutes (even of repealed repealing statutes) are preserved by the Interpretation Act 1999.
The Acts amended represent interesting souvenirs of various previous Government initiatives over 126 years.