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Interpretation Act 1978

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Interpretation Act 1978, SCHEDULE 1 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 22 May 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Section 5.

SCHEDULE 1E+W+S+N.I. Words and Expressions Defined

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Sch. 1 excluded in part (6.4.2003 with effect in accordance with s. 723(1) of the excluding Act) by Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (c. 1), s. 721(6)(b) (subject to Sch. 7)

Note: The years or dates which follow certain entries in this Schedule are relevant for the purposes of paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 (application to existing enactments).

DefinitionsE+W+S+N.I.

  • [F1Act” means an Act of Parliament.]

  • Associated state” means a territory maintaining a status of association with the United Kingdom in accordance with the M1West Indies Act 1967. [16th February 1967]

  • Bank of England” means, as the context requires, the Governor and Company of the Bank of England or the bank of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

  • Bank of Ireland” means, as the context requires, the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland or the bank of the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland.

  • British Islands” means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. [1889]

  • [F2British overseas territory” has the same meaning as in the British Nationality Act 1981;]

  • British possession” means any part of Her Majesty’s dominions outside the United Kingdom; and where parts of such dominions are under both a central and a local legislature, all parts under the central legislature are deemed, for the purposes of this definition, to be one British possession. [1889]

  • F3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • Building regulations”, in relation to England and Wales, [F4has the meaning given by section 122 of the Building Act 1984]

  • Central funds”, in an enactment providing in relation to England and Wales for the payment of costs out of central funds, means money provided by Parliament.

  • [F5Charity Commission” means the Charity Commission for Englandand Wales established by section 1A of the Charities Act 1993.]

  • Church Commissioners” means the Commissioners constituted by the M2Church Commissioners Measure 1947.

  • [F6Civil partnership” means a civil partnership which exists under or by virtue of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (and any reference to a civil partner is to be read accordingly).]

  • Colonial legislature”, and “legislature” in relation to a British possession, mean the authority, other than the Parliament of the United Kingdom or Her Majesty in Council, competent to make laws for the possession. [1889]

  • Colony” means any part of Her Majesty’s dominions outside the British Islands except—

    (a)

    countries having fully responsible status within the Commonwealth;

    (b)

    territories for whose external relations a country other than the United Kingdom is responsible;

    (c)

    associated states:

    and where parts of such dominions are under both a central and a local legislature, all parts under the central legislature are deemed for the purposes of this definition to be one colony. [1889]

  • Commencement”, in relation to an Act or enactment, means the time when the Act or enactment comes into force.

  • Committed for trial” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, committed in custody or on bail by a magistrates’ court pursuant to [F7section 6 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980], or by any judge or other authority having power to do so, with a view to trial before a judge and jury; [1889]

    (b)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, committed in custody or on bail by a magistrates’ court pursuant to [F8Article 37 of the Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981], or by a court, judge, resident magistrate F9. . . or other authority having power to do so, with a view to trial on indictment. [1st January 1979]

  • [F10“The EU” or “the EU Treaties”] and other expressions defined by section 1 of and Schedule 1 to the M3European Communities Act 1972 have the meanings prescribed by that Act.

  • Comptroller and Auditor General” means the Comptroller-General of the receipt and issue of Her Majesty’s Exchequer and Auditor-General of Public Accounts appointed in pursuance of the M4Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866.

  • Consular officer” has the meaning assigned by Article 1 of the Vienna Convention set out in Schedule 1 to the M5Consular Relations Act 1968.

  • [F11The Corporation Tax Acts” means the enactments relating to the taxation of the income and chargeable gains of companies and of company distributions (including provisions relating to income tax);]

  • County court” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, a court held for a district under [F12the County Courts Act 1984]; [1846]

    (b)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, a court held for a division under the County Courts [F13(Northern Ireland) Order 1980]. [1889]

  • Court of Appeal” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in England;

    (b)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.

  • [F14Court of Judicature” means the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.]

  • Court of summary jurisdiction”, “summary conviction” and “Summary Jurisdiction Acts”, in relation to Northern Ireland, have the same meanings as in Measures of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

  • Crown Court” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the M6Crown Courts Act 1971;

    (b)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, the Crown Court constituted by section 4 of the M7Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978.

  • Crown Estate Commissioners” means the Commissioners referred to in section 1 of the M8Crown Estate Act 1961.

  • [F15EEA agreement” means the agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992, together with the Protocol adjusting that Agreement signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993, as modified or supplemented from time to time. [The date of the coming into force of this paragraph.]

  • EEA state”, in relation to any time, means—

    (a)

    a state which at that time is a member State; or

    (b)

    any other state which at that time is a party to the EEA agreement. [The date of the coming into force of this paragraph.]]

  • [F16Enactment” does not include an enactment comprised in, or in an instrument made under, an Act of the Scottish Parliament.]

  • England” means, subject to any alteration of boundaries under Part IV of the M9Local Government Act 1972, the area consisting of the counties established by section 1 of that Act, Greater London and the Isles of Scilly. [1st April 1974].

  • Financial year” means, in relation to matters relating to the Consolidated Fund, the National Loans Fund, or moneys provided by Parliament, or to the Exchequer or to central taxes or finance, the twelve months ending with 31st March. [1889]

  • Governor-General” includes any person who for the time being has the powers of the Governor-General, and “Governor”, in relation to any British possession, includes the officer for the time being administering the government of that possession. [1889]

  • [F17Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs” has the meaning given by section 4 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005.]

  • High Court” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England;

    (b)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland.

  • [F18The Immigration Acts” has the meaning given by [F19section 61 of the UK Borders Act 2007].]

  • The Income Tax Acts” means all enactments relating to income tax, including any provisions of the Corporation Tax Acts which relate to income tax.

  • Land” includes building and other structures, land covered with water, and any estate, interest, easement, servitude or right in or over land. [1st January 1979].

  • Lands Clauses Acts” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, the M10Lands Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 and the M11Lands Clauses Consolidation Acts Amendment Act 1860, and any Acts for the time being in force amending those Acts; [1889]

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, the M12Lands Clauses Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1845 and the M13Lands Clauses Consolidation Acts Amendment Act 1860, and any Acts for the time being in force amending those Acts; [1889]

    (c)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, the enactments defined as such by section 46(1) of the M14Interpretation Act Northern Ireland) 1954. [1889]

  • Local land charges register”, in relation to England and Wales, means a register kept pursuant to section 3 of the M15Local Land Charges Act 1975, and “the appropriate local land charges register” has the meaning assigned by section 4 of that Act.

  • London borough” means a borough described in Schedule 1 to the M16London Government Act 1963, “inner London borough” means one of the boroughs so described and numbered from 1 to 12 and “outer London borough” means one of the boroughs so described and numbered from 13 to 32, subject (in each case) to any alterations made under Part IV of the M17Local Government Act 1972 [F20, Part 2 of the Local Government Act 1992 or Part 1 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007].

  • Lord Chancellor” means the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

  • Magistrates’ court” has the meaning assigned to it—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, by [F21section 148 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980];

    (b)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, by [F22Article 2(2) of the Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981].

  • Month” means calendar month. [1850]

  • National Debt Commissioners” means the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt.

  • Northern Ireland legislation” has the meaning assigned by section 24(5) of this Act. [1st January 1979]

  • Oath” and “affidavit” include affirmation and declaration, and “swear” includes affirm and declare.

  • [F23Officer of a provider of probation services” in relation to England and Wales, has the meaning given by section 9(1) of the Offender Management Act 2007;” and]

  • [F24Officer of Revenue and Customs” has the meaning given by section 2(1) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005.]

  • Ordnance Map” means a map made under powers conferred by the M18Ordnance Survey Act 1841 or the M19Boundary Survey (Ireland) Act 1854.

  • Parliamentary Election” means the election of a Member to serve in Parliament for a constituency. [1889]

  • [F25PAYE income” has the meaning given by section 683 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.

  • PAYE regulations” means regulations under section 684 of that Act.]

  • Person” includes a body of persons corporate or unincorporate. [1889]

  • Police area”, “police authority” and other expressions relating to the police have the meaning or effect described—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, by [F26section 101(1) of the Police Act 1996];

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, by sections 50 and 51(4) of the M20Police (Scotland) Act 1967.

  • [F27Police Service of Northern Ireland” and “Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve” have the same meaning as in the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000;]

  • The Privy Council” means the Lords and others of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

  • [F28Provider of probation services”, in relation to England and Wales, has the meaning given by section 3(6) of the Offender Management Act 2007;”.]

  • [F29Registered” in relation to nurses and midwives, means registered in the register maintained under article 5 of the [F30Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001] by virtue of qualifications in nursing or midwifery, as the case may be.]

  • [F31Registered medical practitioner” means a fully registered person within the meaning of the Medical Act 1983 who holds a licence to practise under that Act.]

  • [F32“Registered provider of social housing” and “private registered provider of social housing” have the meanings given by section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (and “non-profit” and “profit-making” in connection with a registered provider are to be read in accordance with section 115 of that Act).]

  • Rules of Court” in relation to any court means rules made by the authority having power to make rules or orders regulating the practice and procedure of that court, and in Scotland includes Acts of Adjournal and Acts of Sederunt; and the power of the authority to make rules of court (as above defined) includes power to make such rules for the purpose of any Act which directs or authorises anything to be done by rules of court. [1889]

  • Secretary of State” means one of Her Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State.

  • [F33Senior Courts” means the Senior Courts of England and Wales.]

  • [F34Sent for trial” means, in relation to England and Wales, sent by a magistrates' court to the Crown Court for trial pursuant tosection 51 or 51A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.]

  • [F35Sewerage undertaker”, in relation to England and Wales, shall be construed in accordance with section 6 of the Water Industry Act 1991].

  • Sheriff”, in relation to Scotland, includes sheriff principal. [1889]

  • [F36The standard scale”, with reference to a fine or penalty for an offence triable only summarily,—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, has the meaning given by section 37 of the M21Criminal Justice Act 1982;

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, has the meaning given by section 225(1) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995];

    (c)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, has the meaning given by Article 5 of the M22Fines and Penalties (Northern Ireland) Order 1984.

  • Statutory declaration” means a declaration made by virtue of the M23Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

  • [F37Statutory maximum”, with reference to a fine or penalty on summary conviction for an offence,—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, means the prescribed sum within the meaning of section 32 of the M24Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980;

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, means the prescribed sum within the meaning of section 225(8) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995]; and

    (c)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, means the prescribed sum within the meaning of Article 4 of the Fines and Penalties (Northern Ireland) Order 1984.

  • [F38Supreme Court” means the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.]

  • [F39The Tax Acts” means the Income Tax Acts and the Corporation Tax Acts.]

  • The Treasury” means the Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury.

  • [F40Trust of land” and “trustees of land”, in relation to England and Wales, have the same meanings as in the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.]

  • United Kingdom” means Great Britain and Northern Ireland. [12th April 1927]

  • [F41Wales” means the combined area of the counties which were created by section 20 of the M25Local Government Act 1972, as originally enacted, but subject to any alteration made under section 73 of that Act (consequential alteration of boundary following alteration of watercourse).]

  • [F42Water undertaker”, in relation to England and Wales, shall be construed in accordance with section 6 of the Water Industry Act 1991].

  • Writing” includes typing, printing, lithography, photography and other modes of representing or reproducing words in a visible form, and expressions referring to writing are construed accordingly.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1In Sch. 1 definition of "Act" inserted (1.7.1999) by 1998 c. 46, s. 125, Sch. 8 para. 16(3) (with s. 126(3)-(11)); S.I. 1998/3178, art. 2

F2Sch. 1: definition of "British overseas territory" inserted (26.2.2002) by 2002 c. 8, s. 1(3)

F5In Sch. 1 definition of "Charity Commission" substituted (27.2.2007) for definition of "Charity Commissioners" by Charities Act 2006 (c. 50), ss. 75(1), 79(2), Sch. 8 para. 61; S.I. 2007/309, art. 2, Sch. (subject to transitional provisions in arts. 4-13)

F6In Sch. 1 definition of "civil partnership" inserted (5.12.2005) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), ss. 261(1), 263(10), Sch. 27 para. 59; S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(2)

F9In Sch. 1 in paragraph (b) of definition of "committed for trial" words repealed (1.4.2005) by Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26), ss. 86, 87, Sch. 13; S.R. 2005/109, art. 2, Sch.

F14In Sch. 1 definition of "Court of Judicature" inserted (1.10.2009) by Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), ss. 59(5), 148(1), Sch. 11 para. 24(b); S.I. 2009/1604, art. 2

F15In Sch.1 definitions of "EEA agreement" and "EEA state" inserted (8.1.2007) by Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (c. 51), ss. 26(1), 33

F16In Sch. 1 definition of "enactment" inserted (1.7.1999) by 1998 c. 46, s. 125, Sch. 8 para. 16(3) (with s. 126(3)-(11)); S.I. 1998/3178, art. 2

F17In Sch. 1 definition of "Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs" inserted (7.4.2005 at 5.45 p.m.) by Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (c. 11), ss. 4(3), 53; S.I. 2005/1126, art. 2

F18In Sch. 1 definition of "the immigration acts" inserted (30.3.2006) by Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (c. 13), s. 64(4)

F19Sch. 1: words in definition of "The Immigration Acts" substituted (30.10.2007) by UK Borders Act 2007 (c. 30), ss. 59(2), 61(4)

F20Sch. 1: words in definition of "London borough" substituted (1.11.2007 with application as mentioned in art. 1(1) of the commencing S.I.) by Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (c. 28), ss. 22, 245, Sch. 1 para. 14; S.I. 2007/3136, art. 2 (subject to art. 3)

F23Sch. 1: definition of "Officer of a provider of probation services" inserted (1.4.2008) by Offender Management Act 2007 (c. 21), ss. 39, 41(1), Sch. 3 para. 2; S.I. 2008/504, art. 3(k)(l)

F24In Sch. 1 definition of "Officer of Revenue and Customs" inserted (7.4.2005 at 5.45 p.m.) by Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (c. 11), ss. 2(7), 53; S.I. 2005/1126, art. 2

F25In Sch. 1 definitions of "PAYE income" and "PAYE regulations" inserted (6.4.2003 with effect as mentioned in s. 723(1)(a)(b) of amending Act) by Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (c. 1), ss. 722, 723, Sch. 6 Pt. 2 para. 148 (subject to Sch. 7)

F26In Sch. 1 in definition of "police area" words substituted (22.8.1996) by 1996 c. 16, ss. 103, 104(1), Sch. 7 Pt. II para. 32

F27Sch. 1: definitions of "Police Service of Northern Ireland" and "Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve" inserted (4.11.2001) by 2000 c. 32, s. 74, Sch. 6, para. 5; S.R. 2001/396, art. 2, Sch.

F28Sch. 1: definition of "Provider of probation services" inserted (1.4.2008) by Offender Management Act 2007 (c. 21), ss. 39, 41(1), Sch. 3 para. 2; S.I. 2008/504, art. 3(k)(l)

F29Sch. 1: definition of "registered" substituted by S.I. 2002/253, art. 54, Sch. 5 para. 7 (the amendment coming into force in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I.)

F31Sch. 1: definition of "registered medical practitioner" substituted by S.I. 2002/3135, art. 16(1), Sch. 1 para. 10 (with transitional provisions in Sch. 2) (the amendment coming into force in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I.)

F32Sch. 1: definition of "registered provider of social housing" inserted (1.4.2010) by Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (c. 17), ss. 277, 325(1), Sch. 9 para. 5; S.I. 2010/862, arts. 1(2), 2 (subject to Sch.); and definition of "registered provider of social housing" and "private registered provider of social housing" immediately substituted (1.4.2010) for that definition by The Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (Registration of Local Authorities) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/844), arts. 1(2), 6, Sch. 2 para. 1

F33In Sch. 1 definition of "Senior Courts" inserted (1.10.2009) by Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), ss. 59(5), 148(1), Sch. 11 para. 24(b); S.I. 2009/1604, art. 2

F34In Sch. 1 definition of "sent for trial" inserted (9.5.2005 for specified purposes, 18.6.2012 for specified purposes, 5.11.2012 for specified purposes, 28.5.2013 for specified purposes) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 41, 336(3), Sch. 3 Pt. 2 para. 49(b); S.I. 2005/1267, art. 2, Sch. Pt. 1 para. 1(1)(h); S.I. 2012/1320, art. 4(1)(c)(2)(3) (with art. 5) (see S.I. 2012/2574, art. 4(2) and S.I. 2013/1103, art. 4); S.I. 2012/2574, art. 2(c)(2)(3), Sch. (with arts. 3, 4) (as amended (4.11.2012) by S.I. 2012/2761, art. 2) (with S.I. 2013/1103, art. 4); S.I. 2013/1103, art. 2(1)(c)(2)(3) (with arts. 3, 4)

F38In Sch. 1 definition of "Supreme Court" substituted (1.10.2009) by Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), ss. 59(5), 148(1), Sch. 11 para. 24(a); S.I. 2009/1604, art. 2

F40In Sch. 1 definitions of "trust of land" and "trustees of land" inserted (E.W.) (1.1.1997) by 1996 c. 47, s. 25(1), Sch. 3 para. 16 (with ss. 24(2), 25(4)(5)); S.I. 1996/2974, art. 2

F41Definition of "Wales" in Sch. 1 substituted (3.4.1995) by 1994 c. 19, s. 1(3), Sch. 2 para. 9 (with ss. 54(5)(7), 55(5), Sch. 17 para. 22(1), 23(2)); S.I. 1995/852, art. 3, Sch. 1

Marginal Citations

M21947 C.A.M. No. 2.

F43 . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F43Entry repealed (E.W.) (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108(6)(7), Sch.15 (Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)

F44. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F44Entry repealed (E.W) (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108 (6)(7) (Sch. 14 paras. 1(1), 27(4)) Sch.15; S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2).

Construction of certain expressions relating to offencesE+W+S+N.I.

In relation to England and Wales—

(a)indictable offence” means an offence which, if committed by an adult, is triable on indictment, whether it is exclusively so triable or triable either way;

(b)summary offence” means an offence which, if committed by an adult, is triable only summarily;

(c)offence triable either way” means an offence [F45, other than an offence triable on indictment only by virtue of Part V of the Criminal Justice Act 1988] which, if committed by an adult, is triable either on indictment or summarily;

and the terms “indictable”, “summary” and “triable either way”, in their application to offences, are to be construed accordingly.

In the above definitions references to the way or ways in which an offence is triable are to be construed without regard to the effect, if any, of [F46section 22 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980] on the mode of trial in a particular case.

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Amendments (Textual)

[F47 Construction of certain references to relationshipsE+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

In relation to England and Wales—

(a)references (however expressed) to any relationship between two persons;

(b)references to a person whose father and mother were or were not married to each other at the time of his birth; and

(c)references cognate with references falling within paragraph (b) above,

shall be construed in accordance with section 1 of the Family Law Reform Act 1987. [The date of the coming into force of that section]]

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Valid from 01/04/2013

[F48Construction of certain expressions relating to the police: ScotlandE+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

In relation to Scotland—

(a)references to a police force include references to the Police Service of Scotland;

(b)references to a chief officer of police include references to the chief constable of the Police Service of Scotland;

(c)police authority” means the Scottish Police Authority;

(d)the “police area” of the Police Service of Scotland is Scotland and references to a police force or police authority for any area include references to the Police Service of Scotland or, as the case may be, the Scottish Police Authority;

(e)references to a constable or chief constable of, or appointed for, any area are to be construed as references to a constable or, as the case may be, the chief constable of, or appointed for, the Police Service of Scotland.]

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Timeline of Changes

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