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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 2

    Document Title
    Report of the Virginia Code Commission on Revision of the Code of Virginia of 1950, As Amended, to Conform with the Constitution of Virginia Effective July 1, 1971

    Virginia Code Commission

    Enabling Authority
    HJR 106 (Regular Session, 1970)

    Executive Summary
    Virginia's new Constitution was suggested by former Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr., was conceived by a Commission on Constitutional Revision composed of preeminent Virginia statesmen under the leadership of former Governor and Supreme Court Justice Albertis S. Harrison, Jr., was nurtured by the General Assembly at its sessions of 1968, 1969 and 1970, was adopted by the Virginia electorate on November 3, 1970, and will become the basic law of Virginia on July 1, 1971. That Constitution is both the reason for and the basis of this report.

    The General Assembly, at its 1970 session, directed the Virginia Code Commission to undertake a general revision of the Code of Virginia, with particular ref ere nee to amendments throughout the Code which would be made necessary should the proposed revision of the Constitution of Virginia be adopted by the voters at the referendum held on November 3, 1970, and to make a report, containing the Virginia Code Commission's recommendations for amendments in the Code made necessary by the new Constitution, to the Governor and the General Assembly not later than December 15, 1970.

    The Virginia Code Commission tenders this report as the result of the undertaking so directed.

    At the outset the Commission wishes to distinguish between the general nature of the work undertaken by the Commission on Constitutional Revision and this undertaking by the Virginia Code Commission. The Commission on Constitutional Revision was concerned primarily with political philosophy. More specifically, it was concerned with a concise and appropriate exposition of basic principles and policies for the exercise of sovereignty by the Commonwealth. In contrast, this undertaking of the Virginia Code Commission is highly pragmatic.

    The Code Commission conceives its work as being that of suggesting to the Governor and the General Assembly the statutory procedure by which Virginia may, on July 1, 1971, simultaneously exchange not only an old Constitution for a new one, but those statutes made obsolete by the new Constitution for such new statutes as are basically required to support the new Constitution.

    Considering the magnitude of the undertaking and the paucity of time available, the Code Commission determined that its study would require both a very broad base and strict procedural controls. In addition, the Commission determined that none of its own members should become specially involved in, or be recognized as sole authority with respect to, any particular subject matter to be considered by the Commission.

    The Commission therefore determined to establish committees, independent of the Commission itself, to undertake the study of appropriate areas of the Code. To facilitate control, without overloading any single committee, after careful consideration of the particular subject matter involved, the Commission established six committees. Among these committees were divided all of the titles of the Code, with the exception of the Uniform Commercial Code, i.e., Titles 8.1 through 8.10, and Title 14.1. Insofar as possible, each committee was assigned a primary area of responsibility, topically identifiable, and was assigned topically related titles. Inevitably, however, in balancing the workload, it also was necessary to burden some committees with some unrelated titles.