Suppose I would like to know the purpose of an Act, or how it relates to other Acts or international obligations.

How can I learn information about the purpose, background, and other context of recent U.K. legislation?

1 Answer 1


Since 1999, explanatory notes have been included with most Acts. Explanatory notes are:

created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

They "provide a summary of and background to the bill and explain its various provisions."

You can look up any U.K. public Act here. Those with explanatory notes will provide a link titled "explanatory notes." For example, here are the explanatory notes for the Equality Act 2010.

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