The government has launched a website to provide public access to UK legislation dating back to 1267.
The site, Legislation.gov.uk, will enable general access to current and historic laws for free, in a "clear and simple" format, according to The National Archives.
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"This will put democracy at the heart of legislation and makes a major contribution to the government's transparency agenda," said minister of state Lord McNally,
The launch comes as part of the government's open data plan, which includes a commitment to force councils to publish meeting minutes and local service performance data online, as outlined in the coalition's promise of greater transparency. The government has also promised to publish all new central government IT contracts online from July this year.
The Legislation.gov.uk site will bring together content from the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and the Statute Law Database.
John Sheridan, head of government e-services and strategy at The National Archives, said, "The massive growth in the availability of government data on the web is one of the biggest shifts we have seen in a decade. We are the first country in the world to open up its statute book in this way and this is an amazing dataset."
The Stationery Office, which is now a private company, has worked with The National Archives' editorial team on the transition of data from existing legislation websites.