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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Presumptions against Substantial Changes In Law: Amending Acts

"Accordingly, we hold that the amendments to The Act pertinent to this litigation were changes of form, which merely interpreted the 1973 Act and made it more detailed and specific. They were not changes of substance, which add rights to, or withdraw existing rights from, and original act.
[ See 1A Sutherland Statutory Construction § 22.30 at 179.]
 When amendments are enacted soon after controversies arise "as to the interpretation of the original act, it is logical to regard the amendment as a legislative interpretation of the original act, a formal change-rebutting the presumption of substantial change."
[ Boyd v. Commonwealth, 216 VA. 16, 215, S.E.2d 915 (1975). ]

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