For the first time in over 100 years, the language of federal laws has received a comprehensive update.
Passed in Parliament yesterday (15 June), the Acts Interpretation Amendment Bill will make it easier for lawyers, judges and policy makers to understand and interpret Commonwealth legislation.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the Bill's passing is a major achievement in reducing the complexity of Commonwealth legislation and "bringing it into the 21st Century".
"It will assist in making the law more accessible and easier to understand for all Australians," he said.
The Bill updates the language and concepts in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, making it a clearer and more useful point of reference for interpreting the law.
New general rules and definitions contained in the 2011 Act reduce the size of the Commonwealth statute book as repetition in other Commonwealth Acts is unnecessary.
The Bill was prepared by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in line with the Government's Strategic Framework for Access to Justice policy.