Enactments said to be unnecessary and such like

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This is a list of enactments which:

  • have been said to be spent, obsolete, unnecessary, superseded, redundant, superfluous, or no longer of practical utility, or to have ceased to be in force otherwise than by express and specific repeal (such as by being impliedly repealed by the enactment of inconsistent legislation), or
  • have been recommended for, or said to suitable for, repeal without replacement or further provision being made

but which have, in either case, not been repealed, and which do not appear to be imminently about to be repealed (whether through inertia or otherwise).

To put it another way, this is a list of enactments which have been said, or as good as said, or insinuated, to be suitable for inclusion in a Statute Law Revision Act, Statute Law (Repeals) Act or other expurgation Act (i.e. one consisting entirely of repeals).

The sources that will be used to compile this list are textbooks, articles in journals, things said by judges of the senior or superior courts acting ex officio, and the reports of Royal Commissions and bodies such as the Law Commission, the Scottish Law Commission, the Criminal Law Revision Committee appointed by the Home Secretary, and the Law Revision and Reform Committees appointed by the Lord Chancellor.

Where an enactment is not expressly mentioned by a source, but its repeal appears to be an logical consequence of what the source does say, it will be included.

This list is not a recommendation on the part of its author.

This list presently includes enactments which extend to England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Statutory citation

  • The entry relating to the Parliamentary Costs Acts 1847 to 1879 in Schedule 2 to the Short Titles Act 1896.

The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission said that where a provision authorised the citation of two or more Acts by a collective title, and all, or all but one, of those Acts had since been repealed, the provision authorsing the citation of those Acts by that collective title could be repealed - The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission. Statute Law Revision: Fifteenth Report, Draft Statute Law Repeals Bill. Law Com 233. Scot Law Com 150. Cm 2784. HMSO. March 1995. Page 77. Since the publication of that report, the Parliamentary Costs Acts 1847 to 1879 were repealed by Schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Costs Act 2006.

Enforcement of contracts of guarantee

  • The Statute of Frauds
  • The Statute of Frauds Amendment Act 1828
  • Section 3 of the Mercantile Law Amendment Act 1856
  • Regulation 4(1) of the Financial Collateral Arrangements (No. 2) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3226)

The Law Revision Committee recommended that section 4 of the Statute of Frauds be repealed - (1937) Cmd 5449. Section 4 is the only substantial unrepealed provision of that Act. Section 6 of the Act of 1828 (which is the only substantial unrepealed provision of that Act), section 3 of the Act of 1856 and regulation 4(1) of the Regulations of 2003 are corollaries to the said section 4.

Defence of apology and payment into court for newspaper libel

  • Section 2 of the Libel Act 1843

Report of the Faulks Committee on Defamation (Cmnd 5909) (1975) paragraph 373.

Distinction between libel and slander

  • The words "in respect of words calculated to disparage the plaintiff in any office, profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of the publication" and the words "whether or not the words are spoken of the plaintiff in the way of his office, profession, calling, trade or business" in section 2 of the Defamation Act 1952
  • The same words in section 2 of the Defamation Act (Northern Ireland) 1955
  • The Slander of Women Act 1891
  • Section 14(2) of the Defamation Act 2013

The Faulks Committee recommended that slander should be assimilated to libel - Report of the Faulks Committee on Defamation (Cmnd 5909) (1975) paragraph 91. The effect of repealing the words in section 2 of the Acts of 1952 and 1955 would be to reduce each of them to "in an action for slander . . ., it shall not be necessary to allege or prove special damage, . . .". The repeal of the Act of 1891 (in Northern Ireland) and section 14(2) of the Act of 2013 would be consequential.

Effect of private prosecution on civil proceedings for assault

  • Sections 44 and 45 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861
  • Paragraphs 2 to 4 of Schedule 15 to the Criminal Justice Act 1988
  • Paragraph 41 of Schedule 8 to the Courts Act 2003
  • The words "41 and" in paragraph 43 of that Schedule.

Criminal Law Revision Committee. Fourteenth Report. 1980. Cmnd 7844. ss 163 and 164.

Aggravated assaults

  • Sections 36 and 37 and 39 and 40 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861
  • Paragraph 5(f) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980

The Law Commission. Legislating the Criminal Code: Offences against the Person and General Principles. Law Com 218. Cm 2370. 1993. Para 22.1 and note 245 at page 41.

Bigamy

  • The words "or shall extend to any person who, at the time of such second marriage, shall have been divorced from the bond of the first marriage, or to any person whose former marriage shall have been declared void by the sentence of any court of competent jurisdiction" in the proviso to section 57 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

Lord Diplock said that these words do not add anything to the words "being married" on grounds that a person whose marriage has been disolved or declared void is not married - R v Gould [1968] 2 QB 65

Offences in the jurisdiction of the admiralty

  • Section 68 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861
  • Section 72 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861

"Redundant" - Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice. 1999 Edition. Para 2-76 at p 153.

Incitement to sedition

  • Section 3 of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919
  • Paragraph 153 of Schedule 32 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003

The Law Commission. Codification of the Criminal Law: Treason, Sedition and Allied Offences. Working Paper No 72. 1977. Paragraphs 89 and 94 and 96(10).

Treason consisting of killing judges

  • So much of the Treason Act 1351 as relates to slaying the Chancellor, Treasurer or the King's justices in their places doing their offices

The Law Commission. Codification of the Criminal Law: Treason, Sedition and Allied Offences. Working Paper No 72. 1977. Paragraphs 89 and 94 and 96(10).

  • Section XI of the Treason Act 1708

This makes equivalent provision for the slaying of the Lords of Session or Lords of Justiciary in Scotland. (The Law Commission said that they were unable to make recommendations as to the law of Scotland - paragraph 9).

Compounding treason

  • The words "other than treason" in section 5(5) of the Criminal Law Act 1967
  • The words "other than treason" in section 5(5) of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967

The Law Commission recommended that the common law offence of compounding treason be abolished - The Law Commission. Codification of the Criminal Law: Treason, Sedition and Allied Offences. Working Paper No 72. 1977. Paragraphs 67 and 96(5).

Subornation of perjury

  • Section 7(1) of the Perjury Act 1911

"Redundant" - Richard Card. Card, Cross and Jones: Criminal Law. Twelfth Edition. Butterworths. 1992. Paragraph 16.10 at page 373.

See also[edit]