Taoiseach Announces Major Bill To Overhaul Obsolete Laws
"The Statute Law Revision Project is an important element of the Government's efforts to modernise the Statute Book and is laying the ground for future work on consolidation and other measures to improve the accessibility of our laws."
The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D., has announced the drafting of a further Statute Law Revision Bill to repeal all remaining obsolete legislation pre-dating independence.
This Bill is the fourth major piece of statute law reform legislation initiated during the Taoiseach's time in Office and when completed the Bill is likely to be one of the most extensive statute law revision measures ever attempted anywhere in the common law world.
The Statute Law Revision Bill will repeal all obsolete Local and Personal and Private Acts passed prior to 1922, and will leave in force only a limited list of such Acts which are still relevant today. Private Acts are those which deal with the affairs of a single individual or body, and Local and Personal Acts deal with matters affecting a very limited section of the community such as a single local authority or company.
Examples of the Acts to be repealed include the last of the penal laws, such as legislation prohibiting Catholics from owning certain lands or holding certain positions and a 1537 Act of Henry VIII suppressing St Wolstone's monastery in Co. Kildare and transferring it to the Crown. An 1825 Act designed to encourage the "surplus population of Ireland" to leave the country will also be removed from the Statute Book.
This Bill will build on with the Statute Law Revision Acts of 2005 and 2007, which combined provided for the repeal of almost 3,500 obsolete Public General Acts.
Speaking on Thursday, the Taoiseach stated "The Statute Law Revision Project is an important element of the Government's efforts to modernise the Statute Book and is laying the ground for future work on consolidation and other measures to improve the accessibility of our laws."