A Consolidating statute is a statute which collects the statutory provisions relating to a particular topic, and embodies them in a single Act of parliament, making minor amendments and improvements.
The object of a consolidating statute is to present entire body of different statutory laws on a particular subject in a complete form. This is done by repealing all former statutes.Consolidating statutes are of three types
- Consolidating statutes without changes
- Consolidating statutes with minor changes.
- Consolidating Act with amendment.
RULES OF INTERPRETAION
PresumptionIn enactment of a consolidating Act, the presumption is that the parliament is intended to alter the existing law. The further presumption is that the words used in the consolidating Act bear the same meaning as that of the enactment for which consolidation is made. However, if the words have origin in different legislations, then the same meaning cannot be sustained. INCONSISTENCY In case of inconsistency between the provisions of a consolidating Act, it is pertinent to refer to different previous enactments with reference to dates of enactment in chronological order. For the purpose of enactment of a consolidating Act it is in order to refer to previous laws, existing laws, judicial decisions, common law etc. Just because certain terms of a non- repealed statute are used in the consolidating statute, it does not mean that the non-repealed statute and general laws are affected by the consolidating statute. A consolidating statute is not simply a compilation of different earlier statutes, but enacted with co-ordination and for the changing present social circumstances. In this context a consolidating statute may also be an amendment act.
A codifying statute is a statute which states exhaustively the whole of the law upon a particular subject. The maker of law incorporates in the enactment both the pre-existing statutory provisions and the common law relating to the subject. The purpose of a codifying statute is to present uniform, orderly and authoritative rules on a particular subject. When once the law has been codified, it cannot be modified gradually from day to day, as the changing circumstances of the community. Any modifications to it whether of a minor matter or a major amendment must be made by the legislature (bank of England v vagliano brothers) Lord Hershell interprets a codifying statute as follows:- “ The object of a codifying Act is to end the conflict of decisions .A codifying statute does not exclude reference to earlier case laws on the subject for the purpose of true interpretation of the words. The reference of the previous legislations is for the reason of removal of ambiguity. The aim of a codifying statute is to declare the law on the subject so that the judge, by true interpretation of words decides the meaning within the parameter of such law. To conclude, the difference between a consolidating and codifying statutes are that the aim of a consolidating statute is to enact a complete code on a particular subject by not only compilation but also by addition but a codifying statute states exhaustively the whole of the law upon a particular subject.