Leeds University Library

Public General Acts

Public General Acts are the result of Bills that have successfully passed through Parliament and received Royal Assent. Each Act is given a chapter number within the session (not the same number as the one it was given when it was a Bill).

Modern Acts are cited by their short title, date and chapter number.
eg Transport Act 2000 c.38 (ie the 38th Act passed in the year 2000)

Acts prior to 1963 may also include the regnal year in the citation.
eg Housing Act 1935, 25 & 26 Geo. 5. Ch.40 (ie the 40th Act passed in the 25/26th year of the reign of King George V)

Modern Acts are published with accompanying explanatory notes to assist in their understanding.

Finding Public General Acts

  • Lexis Library: database containing the full, amended text of all Public General Acts in force in England and Wales
  • Westlaw-UK: database containing all UK Public General Acts in force
  • 1225-2009: bound volumes of Public General Acts from Magna Carta onwards. Located in the Edward Boyle Library on level 8
  • 1948 to date: Current Law Statutes includes the text of statutes with annotations and is useful for establishing the latest developments in a particular subject area. It is updated monthly with loose-leaf service files. Located in the Edward Boyle Library on level 8
  • Halsbury's Statutes of England and Wales: includes the text of all current statutes with annotations and commentary. Updated monthly by the Noter Up service which forms the Annual Supplement Volume. Check both these sources to make sure you have up-to-date information. Located in the Edward Boyle Library on level 8
  • 1988 to date: Legislation.gov.uk contains the full text of all UK Public General Acts since 1988, in their original unamended form. It also contains some Acts from 1801-1987.


Public General Acts in the Official Publications section are not entered individually in the Library Catalogue. Use the following catalogues and indexes in the "Indexes" section of Official Publications in the Edward Boyle Library on level 8 to find the date and chapter number of an Act.