ACTS OF PARLIAMENT

are known as primary legislation. Collectively, they make up Statute Law which along with conventions, court decisions and treaties is seen as the basis of the UK constitution. If a Bill is passed by both Houses of Parliament and receives the Royal Assent it becomes an Act of Parliament and part of UK law.

From the UK Parliament website Glossary

STATUES ONLINE

The Hathi Trust Digital Library has a number of historical Statutes of the United Kingdom available online. Browse these here.

A Bill which has received Royal Assent becomes an Act. General information about Acts can be found at parliament.co.uk.

Online

There are a number of online sources for Acts of the United Kingdom, depending on the date required.

legislation.gov.uk publishes legislation from 1267 to the present day. See the FAQs on the website for more details about dates.

British History Online Browse the collection of Statutes of the Realm from 1628-1701 (see website for further explanation about the dates)

Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1101-1835, digitised by the University of Southampton and now available through the Internet Archive.

In the Library

The National Library of Australia holds Statutes in hard copy. The Guide to overseas statutes : in the National Library of Australia (1993) compiled by Biruta Udris lists the titles and holdings information for a significant part of the non-Australian legislation in the Library’s collection.

In 2013 the guide was updated and published on the web. An archived copy of the guide is available via Pandora. Statutes for the United Kingdom are found under G – Great Britain.

Selected print resources

Miscellaneous British LegislationIncluding: orders in council, proclamations, instructions to Governors, letters patent etc. No single title will contain all legislation.United Kingdom sources.

Publication Time period Access links
Halsbury’s statutes of England. Includes Table of Statutes and general index 1948-1970 S 345.42 GRE
Reprinted Acts, consolidated with amendments.
Halsbury’s statutes of England and Wales 1985 - S 345.42 GRE-4
Chronological table of and index to the statutes to the end of the session of... 1880-1945 S 345.42 GRE
Index to the statutes in force covering the legislation to…

Index to the statutes covering the legislation in force on…

Dec. 31, 1948-Dec. 31, 1967

Dec. 31, 1968-Dec. 31, 1989

S 345.42 GRE

S 345.42 GRE

Table of government orders : covering the general instruments to 31 December

Index to statutory instruments

1965 - 1990 S 345.42 GRE

Miscellaneous British Legislation

Including: orders in council, proclamations, instructions to Governors, letters patent etc. No single title will contain all legislation.

United Kingdom sources

Publication Time period Access links
London Gazette 1666+ Online
Statutory rules and orders other than those of a local, personal, or temporary character 1890-1947 S 345.42 GRE
British and foreign state papers 1812-1977 S 345.42 GRE
Tudor and Stuart proclamations. 2 volumes 1485-1714 YYq 354.42 S814

Australian sources

Publication Time period Access links
Historical records of NSW 1762-1811 Special Collections Reading Room reference collection
Historical records of Australia 1788-1848 Main Reading Room reference collection
Statutory rules made under Commonwealth acts from 1901 to 1956 : Vol 5, Selected proclamations, orders, etc 1901-1956 N 345.94 AUS
Various government gazettes 1803+ See separate research guide
Various parliamentary papers 1824+ See GovPubs
  Government publications Law Government and politics

Guide to overseas statutes : in the National Library of Australia

Guide to overseas statutes : in the National Library of Australia (1993) compiled by Biruta Udris. This guide lists the titles, holdings information and location numbers for a significant part of the non-Australian legislation in the Library’s collection.

MATERIAL KEPT OFFSITE

Please note that many of the print items listed here are kept in our offsite storage. We deliver at set intervals throughout the working day as shown here.

The Catalogue indicates from which reading room you can collect your requests.

If you want to use material from offsite collections on the weekend, submit your request by 2 pm on Fridays.

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