U.K. to stop printing laws on calf skin parchment

LONDON -- It's often said some laws aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Not in Britain, where for centuries laws have been printed not on paper but on calfskin parchment known as vellum.

See Full Article

Starting next month, however, official copies of laws will be printed on archival paper rather than animal skin, in a modernizing, cost-cutting move.

The House of Commons Administration Committee proposed the change last year, and the House of Lords -- which decides how legislation is recorded -- has approved a move that will save an estimated 80,000 pounds ($116,000) a year.

Two official copies of each new law will continue to be printed, with one stored in the Parliamentary Archives and the other in the National Archives. Modern laws also are stored digitally.

Parliamentary officials say the high-quality paper can last up to 500 years, but supporters of vellum say it is much more durable.

The oldest vellum law in parliament's archives dates from 1497, and even older vellum copies survive of documents, including the Magna Carta of 1215.

A previous attempt to end the practice in 1999 was defeated by lawmakers, and vellum-backers again plan to put up a fight.

Conservative lawmaker James Gray said Wednesday that the "retrograde decision" should be reversed. Speaker John Bercow said lawmakers who oppose the move can seek a debate in the House of Commons.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Thousands descend on Washington for women's march

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A day after self-described anarchists created chaos, thousands of women are descending upon Washington for what is expected to be a more orderly show of force on the first full day of Donald Trump's presidency. Source
  • Trump takes office, vows to stop 'American carnage'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- As U.S. President Donald Trump wrapped up the ceremony of his inauguration and shifted to governing, he signaled he intends to move quickly to make a clean break from the Obama administration. Trump spent his first night in the White House and was slated to start his first full day in office at a national prayer service Saturday morning. Source
  • Nova Scotia Teachers Union, provincial government reach tentative agreement

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia Teachers Union has reached a tentative agreement with the provincial government, but both sides are mum on the details for now. All the union will say is that it has suspended its work-to-rule job action, which will be "phased out" beginning Monday. Source
  • Turkish parliament backs plans to strengthen presidency

    World News CBC News
    The Turkish parliament has backed a plan to strengthen the powers of the presidency, paving the way for a referendum on the issue in spring which, if passed, could allow President Tayyip Erdogan to stay in office until 2029. Source
  • Rescue teams pull 2 bodies from Iran building rubble

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Rescuers found the bodies of two firefighters in the rubble of a commercial building that collapsed in Tehran after a blaze, leaving up to 30 dead, Iran's state TV reported Saturday. Footage showed rescuers carrying the body of one of the victims. Source
  • Events organized across Canada to support D.C. women's march

    Canada News CTV News
    Protests are being held across Canada today in support of the Women's March on Washington. Demonstrations have been planned in virtually every major Canadian city as well as many smaller centres. Organizers say 30 events in all have been organized across Canada, including Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Source
  • Canadian women arriving in D.C. to join massive march

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Busloads of Canadians are arriving in Washington, D.C. this morning to join in a massive rally for women's rights on the first day of the Trump administration. Roughly 600 travellers, most of them women, made the overnight trek on chartered buses from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Windsor, Ont. Source
  • California flood sweeps cabins, cars down coastal canyon

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- More than 20 people escaped injury when a flood swept cabins and vehicles down a coastal canyon as the second in a trio of storms drenched California with heavy rain and brought more snow to the mountains. Source
  • Scuba diver mauled by shark, takes boat to Australian island

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - A scuba diver mauled by a shark in the Torres Strait has been transported four hours by boat to an island off the Australian coast for medical treatment. Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Mike Augusta says the 55-year-old man is in stable condition with injuries to his left arm. Source
  • Gambia's new president says defeated leader leaving within hours

    World News CTV News
    BANJUL, Gambia -- Gambia's new president says defeated leader Yahya Jammeh is expected to leave for Guinea within hours. Adama Barrow tells The Associated Press that he will return home to Gambia once it's "clear" and a security sweep has been completed. Source