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The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website, which publishes all UK legislation, is being replaced today by www.legislation.gov.uk.
The new website provides a single, unified service to replace the OPSI and Statute Law websites which currently host the legislation database, simplifying the process of searching for legislation. Each act is shown in its original and revised versions and a historical timeline feature enables users to see how it has evolved over the years.
The website covers all legal jurisdictions (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and provides details of amendments and changes. The website's front-page provides links to new and commonly requested laws and the enhanced searchability makes it easier to find individual pieces of legislation. Each act comes with an integrated table of effects and details of any outstanding effects yet to be applied.
The National Archives, who merged with OPSI in 2006, is responsible for the website. Commenting on the launch Acting CEO of The National Archives, Oliver Morley, said: "We're making a bold statement in support of transparency today. By using the latest technology and opening up the raw data underpinning Legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives has given global access to the nation's ‘operating system'. I'm proud to say this website is the only example of its kind in the world. It provides access to an invaluable and historical resource for anyone wanting to know what the law actually says."
The OPSI website received an average of 1.5 million unique users per month and the 6.5 million distinct web pages and a further 6.5 million PDF documents will be transferred to the new website. Users can link between associated legislative documents including EU legislation on EURLex. There are also multiple options for downloading and printing legislation.
All legislation from 1988 to the present day is available on the site while most pre-1988 primary legislation, although no secondary legislation, is also available. In some cases the website only has the original published version and no revised version. This occurs if the legislation was wholly repealed before 1991, or if it is being worked on, according to The National Archives legal editorial team, who are responsible for maintaining the revised versions of legislation.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure