Statute Law Revision Bill 2005


Bills Digest No. 143  2004–05

Statute Law Revision Bill 2005

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.


Passage History
Main Provisions
Concluding Comments
Contact Officer & Copyright Details

Passage History

Statute Law Revision Bill 2005

Date Introduced: 16 March 2005

House: Senate

Portfolio: Attorney-General

Commencement: The individual schedules and items in the Bill have 49 different commencement dates. The commencement of items 2 to 85 in Schedule 1 and the items in Schedule 2 are tied to the provision which they amend. All other items and provisions commence on Royal Assent.


The Statute Law Revision Bill 2005 (the Bill) will correct minor errors in existing legislation. This includes the correction of spelling, numbering, lettering and punctuation errors, but also the updating of references to organisations whose names have changed.


The law must be open and adequately publicised.(1)

Nationally and internationally, Statute Law Revision Bills have become an integral part of the maintenance of statute books. These Bills are essential:

  • to ensure that the statute book is of the highest standard possible, and

  • to enhance the regulatory framework s transparency and accessibility.

Both aspects are fundamental to guaranteeing a working legal system under the rule of law. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the Bill will achieve this as it will facilitate the publication of consolidated versions of Acts by the Attorney-General s Department and by private publishers of legislation. (2)

Since the introduction of the inaugural Statute Revision legislation in 1981, similar revision legislation has found broad support in the Parliament.(3)

Main Provisions

Due to the nature of the amendments proposed by this Bill, it is neither useful nor necessary to analyse them individually or in detail.(4)

The Bill has two schedules:

Schedule 1 amends 24 principal Acts and is mainly concerned with minor clerical and drafting errors. These changes include the updating of names, for example, item 8 of the Bill will replace the reference to the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission in section 15XA of the Crimes Act 1914, with a reference to the name of the body that succeeded it, the Crime and Misconduct Commission of Queensland. The Amendments in this schedule are tied to the commencement of the provision that contains the error.(5)

Schedule 2 amends misdescriptions and cross-referencing errors in 24 amending Acts. The commencement date of each item has been chosen so that the correction of the misdescription is taken to have occurred immediately after the commencement of the misdescribed item in the amending Act.(6)

The effect of the commencement dates in both cases is that the error or misdescription is taken to have been corrected immediately after it had occurred.

According to the Explanatory Memorandum, none of the amendments proposed by either Schedule will alter the content of the law.


  1. J. Raz, The Rule of Law and its Virtue , Law Quarterly Review, Vol. 93, 1977, p. 198.

  2. Explanatory Memorandum to the Statute Law Revision Bill 2005, p. 1.

  3. R. Bell, Statute Law Revision Bill 2002 , Bills Digest, no. 150, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2001 2, pp. 1 2.

  4. Each provision, and the reason for amending it, can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum.

  5. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 1.

  6. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 2.


Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Thomas John
29 April 2005
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared to support the work of the Australian Parliament using information available at the time of production. The views expressed do not reflect an official position of the Information and Research Service, nor do they constitute professional legal opinion.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 2005

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Parliamentary Library, 2005.

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