The National Archives launched a new website this week -- www.legislation.gov.uk -- which brings together every single piece of UK legislation, from the Magna Carta (1215) to the present day, in one place for the first time free of charge.
The new site contains a massive 6.5 million PDF documents and shows both original versions of UK legislation covering all jurisdictions (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and details of any amendments so that you can see how laws have evolved. It also showcases special features including an interactive browse facility and timeline.
Legislation.gov.uk replaces The Office of Public Sector Information and Statute Law Database websites and has been designed to deliver not only an integrated and more comprehensive service, but also one that is more and responsive and better value to the taxpayer.
Oliver Morley of The National Archives described the launch of legislation.gov.uk as 'a bold statement of transparency'.
Mr Morley enthused: '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.'
'This is the public's statute book,' echoes Tom McNally, Minister of Justice. 'Legislation.gov.uk presents complex information in a clear and intuitive way. This is groundbreaking work that puts democracy at the heart of legislation and makes a major contribution to the government's transparency agenda.'