Welcome legislation.gov.uk, goodbye OPSI and SLD

By | 29 July 2010

"The new look legislation database"OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information) and the Statute Law Database are to be replaced with a new website called legislation.gov.uk. The name is not very catchy, but it seeks to combine two very useful sources of legislation into one easy search engine.  It is run by the National Archives on behalf of the HM Government.
OPSI provided legislation as originally enacted whilst the Statute Law Database gave the legislation as amended, in future the one site will offer both.  legislation.gov.uk‘s default is the legislation as amended, but it offers  an option to look at it in its original form.

As at 29 July 2010 not all the content has been migrated, and the extra funtionality is not there as yet and until this happens the two separate sites will continue to work.

The Statute Law Database was never as up to date as the commercial database providers such as Westlaw and Lexis Library and it seems from the FAQ’s on Legislation.gov.uk that this will still be the case it states:

Q. How up to date is the revised content on this website?

A. All legislation held on legislation.gov.uk in revised form has been updated with effects of legislation made up to 2002 (except for some effects of 2002 legislation that were not yet in force at the end of 2002). About half of all items of legislation are also up-to-date to the present. For the remainder there are still effects outstanding for at least one of the years 2003 to the current year. See the Changes to Legislation page for more information.”

Despite this, it tries to make it clear which legislation has been amended up to the present and which has not but it can be confusing. With this in mind if you have access to Westlaw or Lexis Library it is better to use these for the most reliable up to date legislation.  However if you are without these then this remains a useful, freely available option.

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