Act of the National Assembly for Wales

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The Royal Badge of Wales appears on the cover of Acts of the Assembly.[1]

In Wales, an Act of the National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Deddf Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) (informally, an Act of the Assembly) is primary legislation that can be made by the National Assembly for Wales under part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.[2] The power to make Acts of the Assembly was conferred on the assembly following the 2011 elections as a commencement order had been passed in the assembly by simple majority prior to dissolution.[3] The activation of part 4 legislative powers was as a result of a "yes" vote in the 2011 referendum held in Wales.[4] When the power to make Acts of the Assembly commenced, the assembly lost the ability to make Measures under part 3 of the 2006 Act. Existing Measures will remain as law unless repealed.[2]

How Acts of the Assembly are made[edit]

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Consideration by the Assembly[edit]

Bills may be introduced by Welsh Government, a committee of the Assembly, the Assembly Commission or by individual Assembly Members. Ballots are held to select which individual assembly members may present bills.

Once a bill is introduced, there are four stages that need to be completed prior to the bill being submitted for royal assent. The first stage involves consideration of the general principles of the bill by a committee of the assembly and then agreement of these principles by the assembly in plenary session. In the second stage, the bill is considered in detail by a bill committee. The third stage involves detailed consideration of the bill and any amendments by the assembly in plenary, this can be followed by a Report Stage where further amendments can be proposed. Finally, in the fourth stage, the assembly votes to pass the bill in its final form.[5]

Period of intimation and Royal Assent[edit]

When a bill completes its passage through the assembly, it enters a four-week period of intimation, during which the Attorney General for England and Wales or the Counsel General for Wales may refer the bill to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom if they consider that any provisions of the bill are outside the legislative competency of the assembly. The Secretary of State for Wales may also make an order prohibiting the Clerk to the Assembly from submitting the Bill for Royal Assent during this time. After the period of intimation expires, the Clerk may submit the bill for royal assent. The bill becomes an Act of the Assembly when Letters Patent under the Welsh Seal are made by the Queen to signify assent.[6][7]

Form of letters patent[edit]

Royal Assent to Acts of the Assembly is given by means of Letters Patent using the following wording:[8]

ELIZABETH THE SECOND by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other Realms and Territories Queen Head of the Commonwealth Defender of the Faith To Our Trusty and well beloved the members of the National Assembly for Wales GREETING:

FORASMUCH as one or more Bills have been passed by the National Assembly for Wales and have been submitted to Us for Our Royal Assent by the Clerk of the National Assembly for Wales in accordance with the Government of Wales Act 2006 the short Titles of which Bills are set forth in the Schedule hereto but those Bills by virtue of the Government of Wales Act 2006 do not become Acts of the National Assembly for Wales nor have effect in the Law without Our Royal Assent signified by Letters Patent under Our Welsh Seal signed with Our own hand We have therefore caused these Our Letters Patent to be made and have signed them and by them do give Our Royal Assent to those Bills which shall be taken and accepted as good and perfect Acts of the Assembly and be put in due execution accordingly COMMANDING ALSO the Keeper of Our Welsh Seal to seal these Our Letters with that Seal.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent.
WITNESS Ourself at ... the ... day of ... in the ... year of Our Reign.
By The Queen Herself Signed with Her Own Hand.

The Letters Patent may also be made in Welsh:[8]

ELISABETH YR AIL drwy Ras Duw Brenhines Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr a Gogledd Iwerddon a’n Teyrnasoedd a’n Tiriogaethau eraill Pennaeth y Gymanwlad Amddiffynnydd y Ffydd At Ein Ffyddlon ac anwylaf aelodau Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

CYFARCHION:
YN GYMAINT Â BOD un neu ragor o Filiau, y nodir eu henwau byr yn yr Atodlen i hyn, wedi eu pasio gan Gynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru ac wedi eu cyflwyno i Ni ar gyfer Ein Cydsyniad Brenhinol gan Glerc Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn unol â Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006, ond na ddaw’r Biliau hynny, yn rhinwedd Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006, yn Ddeddfau Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru ac na fydd iddynt effaith Gyfreithiol heb Ein Cydsyniad Brenhinol a ddynodir drwy Freinlythyrau o dan Ein Sêl Gymreig a’n llofnod Ein Hunain, yr Ydym felly wedi peri gwneud y rhain, Ein Breinlythyrau ac wedi eu llofnodi, a thrwyddynt rhoddwn Ein Cydsyniad Brenhinol i’r Biliau hynny sydd i’w cymryd a’u derbyn fel Deddfau da a pherffaith y Cynulliad a’u rhoi ar waith yn briodol yn unol â hynny GAN ORCHYMYN HEFYD Geidwad Ein Sêl Gymreig i selio’r rhain, Ein Llythyrau â’r Sêl honno.
YN DYSTIOLAETH O HYNNY yr Ydym wedi peri gwneud y rhain, Ein Llythyrau yn Agored
TYSTIED Ein Hunain yn . . . ar y . . . dydd o . . . yn . . . blwyddyn . . .. Ein Teyrnasiad.
Llofnodwyd gan y Frenhines Ei Hunan â’i Llaw Ei Hunan.

Enacting formula[edit]

Acts of the Assembly begin with the following words of enactment:

English Language: "Having been passed by the National Assembly for Wales and having received the assent of Her Majesty, it is enacted as follows:-"

Welsh Language: "Gan ei fod wedi ei basio gan Gynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a chael cysyniad Ei Mawrhydi, deddfir fel a ganlyn:-"

Subjects in which Acts of the Assembly can be made[edit]

Under part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, the assembly has legislative competence in the following 20 "Subjects" outlined on schedule 7 of that act:[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2012/2/introduction/enacted
  2. ^ a b "Government of Wales Act 2006". Legislation.gov.uk. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  3. ^ "BBC News - What happens next after the assembly powers referendum?". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-03-05. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  4. ^ "BBC News - Wales Referendum 2011: Results in full". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  5. ^ http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-legislation/bus-legislation-bills.htm
  6. ^ "Government of Wales Act 2006". Legislation.gov.uk. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  7. ^ "The National Assembly for Wales (Letters Patent) Order 2011". Legislation.gov.uk. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  8. ^ a b "The National Assembly for Wales (Letters Patent) Order 2011". Legislation.gov.uk. 16 March 2011. Retrieved March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Government of Wales Act 2006". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-21.