Consolidating codifying statutes

Our law is a combination of the common law - decisions of judges of the higher courts - and of statute law enacted or authorised by Parliament; sometimes those decisions and statutes may go back many centuries.Reform of the law is a task for Parliament and not for the judges who, in the course of deciding a particular case, are not usually able to consider the wider social and legal implications of a particular decision.At any one time the Commission will be engaged on between 20 and 30 projects of law reform, at different stages of completion.A typical project will begin with a study of the area of law in question, and an attempt to identify its defects.Every taxing statute must contain three aspects; subject of tax, person to be taxed and the rate of tax.A collection or compilation into one statute or one code or volume of all the laws of the state in general, or of those relating to a particular subject; nearly the same as "compiled laws" or "compiled statutes." See COMPILATION. The further presumption is that the words used in the consolidating Act bear the same meaning as that of the enactment for which consolidation is made.

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The Law Commission is the independent body set up by Parliament in 1965 (along with a similar Commission for Scotland) to keep the law of England and Wales under review and to recommend reform when it is needed.

Their main work is the reform of the law, but they also work on consolidation of statutes and statute law revision.

The Commission does not give legal advice to individuals, nor does it investigate complaints.

Bentham’s view was that this kind of law was more principled than, and ought to be desired, valued and respected above, “dog-law”.

Now, dog-law is an amusing 18th century caricature, but there is something about Bentham and his passion for codification that has fed directly into the guiding principles of modern drafters of statute law: the principles of certainty, and clarity, and making law accessible to all. But let’s pause, and ask ourselves how far we have got, in this country, towards the Benthamite ideal?

There is no room for searching the intentions, presumptions or equity.

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