Changing names

62137In the previous post on inappropriately named Acts, Croft raises a new dimension – perhaps I should have a competition to identify the most pointless Act of Parliament.  That may attract  good number of entries.  However, here I offer an addendum to the post.

In 2008 I served on the Joint Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill.  This was later introduced as the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill, which completed its passage in 2010.  As initially introduced, it embodied several parts covering rather disparate topics, including the civil service, treaty ratification, and the House of Lords.  (It was substantially trimmed as a consequence of the parliamentary wash-up.)  When the relevant minister, Jack Straw, appeared before the Committee, I suggested it should be renamed the Constitution (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.  That was not meant altogether seriously, even though it did convey the nature of the Bill.  However, as already mentioned, the Bill was introduced under a new name.  Why?  Because the Government realised that there was no part of the constitution that was actually being renewed by the Bill!  The eventual title moved somewhat  in the direction of what I was suggesting….

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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4 Responses to Changing names

  1. Croft says:

    Where to start!

    Following the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill looks like possible future entry but depends what survives….

    • James Hand says:

      I was wondering about SARAH as a misnamed Bill/Act, but as someone has remarked it is pointlessness squared (building on the redundant provision in the Compensation Act 2006) rather than misnamed.

  2. tizres says:

    Do you have a time interval in mind, such as post elections of 2010, 1997, 1979…?

  3. maude elwes says:

    Picking up on the Social Action and Heroism Bill mentioned above, what does that cover?

    Example: would bringing the attention of a horrendous miscarriage of justice be considered Social Action worthy of Heroism? Like revealing the fact that Autism has been quietly and subversively linked to the MMR jab and not revealed to the parents of a nation in order for them to understand the risks they are taking when they have faith in their government?

    And how it can be tested.

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