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Legal Research Skills Guide: Terminology


Acts exist in several forms.

  • 'Principal Act', 'Acts as passed' or 'Numbered acts' are Acts as they were passed in the parliament.
  • 'Amending Act' is a statute that alters the operation of an earlier Act through substitution, insertion, omission or repealing - more on this in History of an Act.
  • 'Reprint' or 'Compilation' incorporates all amendments to the Principle Act.
  • 'Consolidating Act' is a statute that combines all the Acts in force relating to a particular subject area.
  • 'Repealed' or 'Ceased' are Acts that are no longer enforced as law.

These terms are used interchangeably on the various websites used to access legislation, so it is helpful to become familiar with them.

Legislation: Understanding the names