Annotations in Revised Acts
Revised Acts contain three types of note, one for amendments, one for legislative effects which do not alter the text of the Revised Act (non-textual amendments) and the third for editorial comments:
- F-notes, or footnotes, explain textual amendments to the legislation as originally passed. Amendments are presented as coloured text with an accompanying F-note number at the start of the amending text, matched by an F-note below the section explaining the origin of the amendment.
- C-notes, or cross-reference notes, are included beneath the title, a part or chapter to describe non-textual amendments or legislative material that affects the Revised Act, part or chapter generally. Material that affects a particular section is presented, again as a C-note, after that section.
- E-notes, or editorial notes, indicate editorial comments, and include references to the exercise of power to make subsidiary legislation, and to previous affecting provisions.
Three uncoloured dots [...] are used in the annotations to signify material which has been omitted because it is not relevant.
Format of Annotations
This format is best illustrated by explaining an example.
|C2 Application of Act extended (26.11.2001) by Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2001 (27/2001) ss. 3-6 and 9-10, S.I. No. 519 of 2001 (with the exception of s. 4(2)(c), commenced (4.11.2002) by S.I. No. 477 of 2002), as amended (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 191, S.I. No. 390 of 2006.|
- The note in bold type (C2) tells the reader what type of provision is being annotated and the number of that particular type of note within the annotations to the Act. In the case of F-notes, a companion note of the same number will be found in the text.
- The next part of the annotation (“application extended”) states what change or effect is being described by the note. Where a textual amendment has been made, this will typically read “substituted”, “inserted”, “repealed” or “deleted”. Other descriptions such as “restricted” and “excluded” tell the user why the note has been included in the Revised Act.
- After this the reader will see a date in the format (26.11.2001), meaning 26 November 2001. This date is the date on which the original alteration was made operative or commenced, not necessarily the date on which it was enacted.
- The date is followed by the title of the Act or statutory instrument which affects or refers to the legislation being revised.
- This is followed by brackets containing information on the number and year of that Act or statutory instrument (27/2001).
- After this the section or sections of that Act which have an effect are listed (ss. 3-6 and 9-10).
- After the affecting parts have been listed, the commencement information is included (S.I. No. 519 of 2001). If the Act was commenced on enactment, this is recorded here.
- The annotation concludes with information on whether the affecting Act has itself been amended. In the example above the affecting part of the 2001 Act was amended by the cited Act from 2006. This subsequent amending Act is referred to in a manner consistent with the standard notation.
Acts come into effect on signature by the President (the date printed in square brackets after the long title) if they contain no specific commencement provisions. However, many Acts do not come into force on signature by the President but contain commencement provisions which stipulate another date or authorise someone, usually a Minister, to bring them into operation by order. Such orders, known as “commencement orders”, are statutory instruments. They usually contain the name of the Act and the word “commencement” in their titles, for example Ethics in Public Office (Commencement) Order 1995 (S.I. No. 282 of 1995). Commencement information is very important, as a statutory provision which is not commenced has no effect. Commencement information is shown in two ways in a Revised Act:
- Commencement orders are listed under the commencement provision, if there is one.
- Any commencement information relating to when amendments came into effect is stated in brackets in the annotations, with the relevant statutory instrument referred to after the amending provision (see Format of Annotations above).