The extent attribute is set to the widest geographical coverage to which the version applies. This example shows the widest extent available:
For a higher level division, the extent must be wide enough to encompass the extents of all versions of any provisions beneath it in the hierarchy. The possible extents are:
Northern Ireland (N.I.)
or any combination of these.
Thus, UK extents are represented as E+W+S+N.I. and GB extents are represented as E+W+S. Church of England Measures, which generally extend to the dioceses of Canterbury and York, are treated as ‘E’.
The extent attribute is not intended to represent precisely the actual extent of the provision in question but rather to ensure that all versions are returned that may be relevant to the user’s search criteria. You should refer to any extent provision in the legislation or to any extent annotations (E-notes) for detailed extent information. Where there are concurrent versions of a provision, it is the sum of the extents of these versions that will represent the widest extent for the provision as a whole.
You should treat with caution the extent attributes for amending or repealing provisions where it is provided that the extent of any amendment etc. is the same as that of the provision being amended. The “effective extent” in these cases is not researched for the purpose of setting the attributes. Practice has varied over time. Formerly, the attributes for such provisions were set to a special extent category of 'Co-extensive' that has translated onto the new system as ‘UK’. Present practice in these cases is to set the attribute initially to the extent the provision would otherwise have had but for the ‘co-extensive’ provision and only to revisit it if the provision in question is itself subsequently amended.
The extent attributes for secondary legislation are determined at present only by the legislation type and do not necessarily reflect the true extent. Thus, all UK Statutory Instruments are set to ‘E+W+S+N.I.’ (except for Welsh Statutory Instruments denoted by a ‘W’ series number, which will be set to ‘W’), Scottish Statutory Instruments are set to ‘S’, and Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland are set to ‘N.I.’.