News in July Law Wales aims to increase public understanding of the Law in Wales
Law Wales (and
Cyfraith Cymru for
the Welsh version) is a collaboration between the Welsh Government and Westlaw UK, part of Thomson Reuters.
Developed as part of an initiative to improve access to Welsh legislation, it aims to provide
explanatory narrative and commentary on all areas of law devolved to Wales.
Westlaw UK provided articles for the site that relate to devolved areas from its 'Westlaw UK Insight'
service, an online legal encyclopaedia which is intended, over a period of time, to provide a comprehensive
statement of the law in the UK. In addition to the articles edited and provided by Westlaw UK, Law Wales
provides a navigable topic structure and overviews of the law on devolved topics prepared by
the Welsh Government. With developing devolution, Welsh legislation is rapidly diverging from
English law in areas such as planning and environmental law as well as in housing and health.
A growing body of Welsh law is now made by the National Assembly for Wales.
The National Assembly for Wales is the democratically
elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people, makes laws for Wales, and holds the
Welsh Government to account. The site explains how the Assembly is set up, how it works, describes some of
the Assembly’s achievements, and the history of the institution and its estate. You can find details of Assembly
members and see lists of committees, meetings, inquiries and consultations. There is a Guide to the Legislative Process
and summaries of bills in progress.
can be found on a special part of the HMSO site, here.
The site contains the full text of all Measures of the National Assembly for Wales and Statutory Instruments
made by the Welsh Assembly Government and formerly the National Assembly for Wales.
Wales Legislation Online does not exist any more!
After 12 years of trying to make Welsh legislation easier to understand, the site has now been wound-up
due to decreased funding. There are currently efforts to create some kind of replacement for this service.
They are supported by Civil Servants who work across devolved areas that include key areas of public life such as health,
education and the environment. There is lots of information on the site about Wales and the work of the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Affairs Committee
is one of the departmental Select Committees of the House of Commons. Its terms of reference are to examine
matters within the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Wales (including relations with the National
Assembly for Wales). In practice, the Committee examines policies of the UK Government which have an impact
in Wales (for example strategic transport, welfare and defence).
Since 1999, some responsibilities, such as health and education, have been devolved in Wales.
The Welsh Government is accountable to the National Assembly for Wales, and the Assembly’s committees
are responsible for scrutinising policies in devolved areas.
The Welsh Affairs Committee consists of 12 Members of Parliament. The Chair of the Committee is elected by
the House of Commons. The Committee is nominated by the House at the beginning of each Parliament for
the duration of the Parliament, although individual Members may be discharged or added during the
course of the Parliament. The membership reflects the party strengths in the House as a whole.
The Wales Office,
established in 1999, supports the Secretary of State for Wales in ensuring the smooth working of the devolution
settlement in Wales, and representing Welsh interests within the UK Government and the UK Government in Wales.
As well as being Wales’ voice in Westminster and Westminster’s voice in Wales, the Wales Office is responsible
for ensuring the smooth running of Welsh legislation through Parliament and for financial transactions between
the UK Government and the National Assembly for Wales. It also undertakes certain reserved functions for Wales.
The Welsh Local Government Association
represents the interests of local authorities in Wales as well (with associated status)
the three Combined Fire Authorities and three National Park Authorities.
It provides access to the WLGA's latest policy papers, consultation
responses, press releases, publications, minutes and papers for meetings, details of forthcoming events,
committees and group membership and links to other organisations and useful sites.
There is a set of links to all the local authorities in Wales as well as general
local government bodies, other Welsh organisations, national bodies, political bodies,
and general Welsh links - an excellent collection.
BBC Online Wales
is a comprehensive source of news and reporting generally about Wales.