The Law of the land
March 4, 2010barriehol
I have spent some time of late looking at UK Legislation relating to the storage of hazardous goods so that we can better inform our customers on the new range of Safety Storage Cabinets and Security Chests recently added to our portfolio.
In doing so I chanced upon an illuminating website www.statutelaw.gov.uk that lists all the Primary Statutes of Law enacted in the UK over the years and a good many Secondary Statutory Instruments (sub Laws I guess) that also apply to the immensely tolerant People of these Islands. The list includes our Business Law of the moment – the daunting Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Although I thought we had the Fire Safety legislation pretty well covered in fact there are 144 pieces of fire safety legislation in the list so maybe we will have to revisit this.
In all there are 5571 Statute Laws dating back to the Statute of Marlborough in 1267, although King Johns signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 effectively set the earliest seeds for a modern day Westminster.
What astonished me was that over 1000 of these Statutes of the Realm have been enacted since 1997 – that’s the year of our lord Tony Blair by the way. Put in context that’s 20% of all Laws passed in 13 of the 700 odd Years since Parliament was effectively created under King Henry III (give or take the odd Dissolution). Add to this 500 plus Statutory Instruments since 2005 alone and I doubt we can fault our disgraced Parliament for effort.
Some of these Laws make you wonder just how over regulated we are. There is seemingly a Law for doing most everything apart from breathing.
We have little gems like “The Parking Attendants (Wearing of Uniforms Act) South Lanarkshire 2005” and “The Potatoes Originating in Egypt (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005”. I bet you also didn’t know there is a law that states that it is illegal to offer a fully assembled bicycle for sale without a bell “which is of a category intended for use on bicycles”. There is of course a separate law for unassembled bicycles and why not!
Maybe our legislators should refresh their memory of the Statute of Marlborough which in short put the following into the Law of the Land some of which sounds is eerily resonant of today’s troubled times.
“It was Provided and established and with full consent ordained, That whereas the Realm of England having been of late depressed by manifold Troubles and the evils of Dissensions, (it is) in need of a Reformation of the Laws and Usages, whereby the Peace and Tranquility of the People both high (bred) and low may be preserved …….forever.”
Like a good deal of the freedoms and human rights provided in the Magna Carta, Marlborough’s Law no doubt has been repealed since.