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Judicial World Records

The Oldest Statutes

Statutes of Marlborough of 1267 is the oldest English statute in the Statute Book. It was re-titled "The Distress Act, 1267" in 1948. There are more durable statutes enacted by earlier Kings and Henry II being assimilated into the Common Law.


The Earliest Judicial Code

The judicial code of King Ur-Hammu during the third dynasty or Ur, Iraq, c.2110 BC was the earliest surviving judicial code.


The Shortest Statutes

The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 is the shortest statute. "A woman shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from being elected to or sitting or voting as a Member of the Commons House of Parliament." That's 27 operative words only. There's a further 14 words in Section 2, giving the short title.


The Earliest English Patent

The English patents granted by Henry VI in 1449 to Flemish-born John of Utyman was the earliest known. The patent was for making the coloured glass required for windows of Eton College.


The Most Inexplicable Statutes

Once, a judge of Court of Session of Scotland sent the Editor his candidate which reads: "In the Nuts (unground), (other than ground nuts) Order, the expression nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than ground nuts, as would but for this amending Order not qualify as nuts (unground) (other than ground nuts) by reason of their being nuts (unground)". There is always defied interpretation in certain passages of an Act. The most inexplicable must be a matter of opinion.


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