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Legislation Act 2019

Last updated 3 June 2020

On 28 October 2019 the Legislation Act 2019 (and the associated Legislation (Repeals and Amendments) Act 2019) received Royal assent. And on 10 December the Secondary Legislation Bill was introduced. More about the Secondary Legislation Bill and its progress »

This legislation is a package. The Legislation Act 2019 will replace the Legislation Act 2012. It will also replace the Interpretation Act 1999.

However, it is not yet in force. It will be brought into force after the enactment of the Secondary Legislation Bill, expected to be in late 2020 or early 2021.

When it does come into force, much of what is currently in the Legislation Act 2012 and the Interpretation Act 1999 will continue. But there are key changes in the following areas:

  • Secondary legislation: The new Legislation Act defines an instrument as secondary legislation if it is stated by an Act to be secondary legislation; the Secondary Legislation Bill will insert those statements in each relevant empowering provision in Acts of Parliament.
    More about the Secondary Legislation Bill »
  • Interpretation of legislation: The new Legislation Act updates the principles and rules about the interpretation of legislation, including by updating default definitions, providing some new default powers, and making current interpretation rules work better.
  • Revision and editorial powers: The new Legislation Act allows a wider set of minor amendments to be made in revision Bills, as well as supplementing the existing PCO publication powers to address minor errors.
    More about revision Bills and the revision programme »
  • Legislative disclosure: The legislative disclosure requirements for Government-initiated legislation that currently apply administratively are now enacted.

Legislation Act 2019 history: about the Legislation Bill

The Legislation Act 2019 and the Legislation (Repeals and Amendments) Act 2019 arose from the Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament on 20 June 2017. The Bill received its first reading on 5 December 2017 and was referred to the Justice Committee, which reported back on 1 June 2008. The Bill's second reading was on 15 October 2019. A substantive Supplementary Order Paper and a second Supplementary Order Paper dividing the Bill into the Legislation Bill and the Legislation (Repeals and Amendments) Bill were released on 15 October 2019. The two Bills received their third reading on 22 October 2019.

See also:

The content of the Legislation Amendment Bill that was introduced to Parliament in 2014 has been incorporated into the Legislation Bill. The 2014 Amendment Bill was withdrawn from the House in 2017.

In relation to re-enacting the Interpretation Act 1999 in the Legislation Act 2012, a discussion paper was released in 2013 to seek views about updating proposals.

Proactive release

Cabinet papers related to the Legislation Bill and the associated Cabinet Legislation Committee (LEG) minutes have been proactively released:

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