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Hundreds of outdated laws expunged

Hundreds of outdated laws expunged

Hundreds of “obsolete and unnecessary” laws are to be scrubbed from the statute book by a new bill currently awaiting Royal Assent.

The Statute Law (Repeals) Bill will repeal more than 800 outdated pieces of legislation, some of which are almost 700 years old.

The Statutes of the Exchequer, which dates from 1322, will be scrapped, as will laws pertaining to pre-partition era Dublin and British railway firms operating in India in colonial times. MPs also voted to remove a law dating back to 1696 which deals with the raising of funds for the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London.

The Bill completed its passage through the Commons without a debate, receiving an unopposed third reading, and has been given the green light by the Lords. Reviewed by peers in November, the Bill is part of a Government drive to scrap “obsolete and unnecessary” laws, justice minister Lord McNally said.

The legislation, the largest of its kind ever drawn up by the Law Commission, also repeals a number of unnecessary tax provisions, including one that only passed two years ago.

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