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1140 1 of 2

REVISED CODE COMMISSIONS

In 1909, a joint resolution was passed to appoint the first in a series of commissions created to revise the public laws and codify and arrange them under appropriate titles. This original commission, known as the Revised Code Commission, was to consist of not less than two nor more than four members learned in the law and to be appointed by the chancellor, the Chief Justice and the four Associate Judges of the State of Delaware. These Commissioners were authorized and empowered to revise and codify, in a systematic and condensed form, all the laws of the state and to arrange the same under appropriate titles so as to compress the whole into the smallest practical volume. The Commission was not empowered to omit, add to, amend or alter the meaning of any law. Essentially their job entailed condensing the existing laws by omitting all redundant and ambiguous phrases.1

In 1913, the Revised Code Commission submitted, “The Revision and Codification of the General Statute Laws of the State” to the Committee of the Senate on Revised Statutes which together with the Committee of the House of Representatives on Revised Statutes was authorized to meet during the General Assembly’s vacation to jointly consider and report on the commission’s revisions. This report concerning the revisions was given at a special session of the General Assembly called by the Governor.2 By 1915, an act had passed providing for the final printing of the Revised Code of 1915, and the Commission went out of existence.3

In 1931, a Revised Code Commission was again created to consist of three members, one from each county who were to be attorneys with a recognized ability and knowledge of state legislation; the Governor appointed these commissioners. Using the same guidelines as the original commission, this new body was empowered to revise the 1915 Code and add all amendments and new laws since its publication. A separate report of mistakes, omissions, inconsistencies, imperfections and suggested corrections was presented to the General Assembly.4 The act providing for the printing, indexing and binding of this 1931 revision passed in 1935. The revised code included all amendments and new laws in force as of July, 1935.5

In 1949, a Revised Code Commission was again created to revise, codify, and arrange in a systematic and condensed form all the laws found in the Revised Code of 1935, including all amendments and new laws enacted since its publication. This revision was completed by 1952, at which time the Commission submitted a reports of its work to the Governor, and a special session of the General Assembly was called. Upon approval of the revision by the General Assembly, the Commission determined the specifications for the printing and binding of the new code and proofread the final copy. The Commission then ceased to exist.6

In 1953, an act was passed providing for continuous code revisions to be published in pocket supplements to be inserted at the back of each volume. This commission, known as the Delaware Code Revision Commission, consisted of the Executive Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau and an attorney licensed to practice before the Supreme Court. The latter was appointed by the Governor for a term of four years. At the close of each regular biennial session of the General Assembly, the Revision Commission prepared supplements to the 1953 Code, containing the most recent amendments and new laws. The Commission advertised for and accepted the lowest bid for the compilation, revision, annotation, printing and binding of the supplements.7 In 1971, the Commission changed to its present composition of two attorneys licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court who are appointed by the Governor. When appointed, these attorneys may not be members of the same political party.8

The General Assembly discovered, in 1975, that, since the recodification of the laws in 1953, the pocket supplements had grown so voluminous that they often exceeded the hardbound volumes. Therefore, an act was passed to repeal all codes prior to the newly published annotated code which ran through the calendar year 1974.9 Also, in 1975, an act passed requiring supplements to be published annually rather than biannually.10

1140 2 of 2

REVISED CODE COMMISSIONS

1 25 D.L., ch. 253

2 27 D.L., ch. 305

3 28 D.L., ch. 32

4 37 D.L., ch. 38

5 40 D.L., ch. 74, 75

6 47 D.L., ch. 377. 48 D.L., ch. 128.

7 49 D.L., ch. 347

8 58 D.L., ch. 253

9 60 D.L., ch. 56

10 60 D.L., ch. 295

mm; November 14, 1988; December 29, 1988