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Codification is the process of bringing together a legal act (or several related acts) and all its amendments into a single new act.

Codification can take two forms:

  • vertical – where an original act and its amendments are incorporated into a single new act; or
  • horizontal – where two or more original acts covering related subjects, and any amendments to them, are merged into a single new act.

Unlike consolidation (i.e. the unofficial simplification of a legal act incorporating its amendments), the new act goes through the same lawmaking process and replaces the acts that are being codified. For example, when legislative acts are officially codified, the full legislative process (ordinary or special legislative procedure) must be respected.