Definition, creation and application of various pieces of legislation

FOI request reference: CAS-70720-Z2Y7L0
Publication date: March 2021


In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, kindly answer and the following questions:

Define ‘acts’
Define ‘legislation’
Define ‘statutes’

Which dictionary did you use for each of these words?
Provide a thorough definition, and an elaborate comparison and description of ‘legal’ versus lawful

Who do acts apply to?
Who do legislation apply to?
Who do statutes apply to?

Who do taxes apply to and under which law/s?
Kindly provide me with said law.

Define ‘fine’
Define ‘penalty’
Define ‘tax/es’
Define ‘person’


No information held.


I can confirm that The National Archives does not hold this information.

The National Archives is responsible for the publication of legislation on the website and has no role in the drafting, definition or application of this legislation. We do not have the legal expertise to determine those statutes that may be relevant to your enquiry. A point to bear in mind is that applicable legislation on a particular subject is often contained across many separate pieces of legislation.

We recommend that you redirect your enquiry to the Houses of Parliament. We will not be forwarding your request so you will need to contact them directly at:

As background, if this is useful, the drafting of Bills is the responsibility of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (see:

You might find it useful to read the information they provide about the process of taking a Bill through Parliament ( and to read their official drafting guidance (

You might also find it useful to look at The Interpretation Act 1978 (, where certain terms, including “Act” are defined).

Once drafted, the House of Parliament is where Bills are introduced, debated and enacted and the process followed is set out here:

Acts are officially published on, which is managed by The National Archives. Publishing all UK legislation is a core part of the remit of the Keeper of the Public Records (The National Archives’ Chief Executive) in his capacity as the Queen’s Printer of Acts of Parliament, Government Printer of Northern Ireland and Queen’s Printer for Scotland. We publish all as enacted UK legislation on, and produce revised versions of that legislation (to incorporate amendments made by subsequent legislation).