Westlaw UK has now launched its ‘Annotated Statutes’ service.
The Westlaw UK website states that this new service provides guidance notes at section level to help you use legislation correctly. These notes discuss ‘linguistic anomalies and structural difficulties’ to allow you to ‘see how to apply the law in practice’. Annotations focus on the intention of Parliament and how the courts are likely to interpret the law.
The service covers Westminster Acts, Scottish Acts, Welsh Measures and important Statutory Instruments from 2007 onwards.
In addition ‘key statutes’ including (e.g. the Human Right Acts 1998) are being annotated during 2009. Westlaw UK envisage adding analysis of pre-2007 legislation on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, annotations will be revised as the law changes.
To view annotations for a particular piece of legislation, search or browse for legislation in the normal way. Any available annotations are indicated in the list of search results and also in the full text documents. Within an individual provision document, the ‘annotation window’ is displayed below the text of the provision.
This potentially very useful addition to Westlaw UK goes some way to giving an online equivalent of the annotated Current Law Statutes. At this stage, the lack of comprehensive annotations for pre-2007 statutes means that this service is not yet a substitute for the Current Law Statutes. However, as older Acts receive annotations and because ‘existing annotations will be revised in line with changes to the law’, this may become the service of choice for those seeking to anticipate the effect of legislation.
Filed under: Legislation, Westlaw