Text Formatting in Legislation

The text formatting conventions for UK Legislation are listed below.

When text is repealed or revoked (as a general rule, Acts are repealed and SIs are revoked):

  • Whilst the repeal is prospective (i.e., not yet in force), the repealed text is italicised
  • Once the repeal has come into force, the repealed text is replaced with an ellipsis (3 dots)

When new text is inserted:

  • Whilst the insertion is prospective, the inserted text appears in square brackets and is underlined
  • Once the insertion is in force, the inserted text appears in square brackets (and the underlining disappears)

When existing text is substituted:

  • Whilst the substitution is prospective, the existing text will appear in italics followed by the new (replacing) text in square brackets and underlined
  • Once the substitution is in force, the existing text will disappear altogether and the new (replacing) text will appear in square brackets (without underlining).

These rules apply whether the amendment/repeal is of a whole provision (section) or of text within a provision.

Wherever text has been amended, a note will be written explaining the alteration that has been made to the text.

Sometimes you may come across amending provisions where the full text of the provision has not been included and in its place appear three dots and a note saying it amends an earlier enactment. Although the full text is missing from the "amending" enactment, the amendments will have been incorporated into the "amended" enactment. This is an old editorial style, pre-dating 1998, where amending material was not put up in full text itself.

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