Wales Act 2017
|Publication Date:||January 01, 2017|
Wales Act 2017
2017 Chapter 4
An Act to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006 and the Wales Act 2014 and to make provision about the functions of the Welsh Ministers and about Welsh tribunals; and for connected purposes.
[31 January 2017]
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Permanence of the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government
1 Permanence of the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government
In the Government of Wales Act 2006, before Part 1 (National Assembly for Wales) insert—
Permanence of the Assembly and Welsh Government
A1. Permanence of the Assembly and Welsh Government
(1) The Assembly established by Part 1 and the Welsh Government established by Part 2 are a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements.
(2) The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions of this Act, to signify the commitment of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom to the Assembly and the Welsh Government.
(3) In view of that commitment it is declared that the Assembly and the Welsh Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a decision of the people of Wales voting in a referendum.
A2. Recognition of Welsh law
(1) The law that applies in Wales includes a body of Welsh law made by the Assembly and the Welsh Ministers.
(2) The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions of this Act, to recognise the ability of the Assembly and the Welsh Ministers to make law forming part of the law of England and Wales.”
Convention about Parliament legislating on devolved matters
2 Convention about Parliament legislating on devolved matters
In section 107 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (Acts of the National Assembly for Wales), after subsection (5) insert—
“(6) But it is recognised that the Parliament of the United Kingdom will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Assembly.”
3 Legislative competence
(1) For section 108 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (legislative competence) substitute—
“ 108A. Legislative competence(1) An Act of the Assembly is not law so far as any provision of the Act is outside the Assembly’s legislative competence.(2) A provision is outside that competence so far as any of the following paragraphs apply—(a) it extends otherwise than only to England and Wales;(b) it applies otherwise than in relation to Wales or confers, imposes, modifies or removes (or gives power to confer, impose, modify or remove) functions exercisable otherwise than in relation to Wales;(c) it relates to reserved matters (see Schedule 7A);(d) it breaches any of the restrictions in Part 1 of Schedule 7B, having regard to any exception in Part 2 of that Schedule from those restrictions;(e) it is incompatible with the Convention rights or with EU law.(3) But subsection (2)(b) does not apply to a provision that—(a) is ancillary to a provision of any Act of the Assembly or Assembly Measure or to a devolved provision of an Act of Parliament, and(b) has no greater effect otherwise than in relation to Wales, or in relation to functions exercisable otherwise than in relation to Wales, than is necessary to give effect to the purpose of that provision.(4) For this purpose, a provision of an Act of Parliament is “devolved” if it would be within the Assembly’s legislative competence if it were contained in an Act of the Assembly (ignoring any requirement for consent or consultation imposed under paragraph 8, 10 or 11 of Schedule 7B or otherwise).(5) In determining what is necessary for the purposes of subsection (3), any power to make laws other than that of the Assembly is disregarded.(6) The question whether a provision of an Act of the Assembly relates to a reserved matter is determined by reference to the purpose of the provision, having regard (among other things) to its effect in all the circumstances.(7) For the purposes of this Act a provision is ancillary to another provision if it—(a) provides for the enforcement of the other provision or is otherwise appropriate for making that provision effective, or(b) is otherwise incidental to, or consequential on, that provision.”
(2) For Schedule 7 to that Act (Acts of the Assembly) substitute—
the Schedule 7A set out in Schedule 1 to this Act, and
the Schedule 7B set out in Schedule 2 to this Act.
4 Devolved Welsh authorities
(1) After section 157 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 insert—
“ 157A. Devolved Welsh authority”(1) In this Act “devolved Welsh authority” means—(a) a public authority that meets the conditions in subsection (2),(b) a public authority that is specified, or is of a description specified, in Schedule 9A (whether or not it meets those conditions), or(c) the governing body of an institution within the higher education sector (within the meaning of section 91(5) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992) whose activities are carried on, or principally carried on, in Wales.(2) A public authority meets the conditions in this section if its functions—(a) are exercisable only in relation to Wales, and(b) are wholly or mainly functions that do not relate to reserved matters.(3) In determining for the purposes of this section whether functions of a public authority are exercisable only in relation to Wales, no account is taken of any function that—(a) is exercisable otherwise than in relation to Wales, and(b) could (apart from this paragraph) be conferred or imposed by provision falling within the Assembly’s legislative competence (by virtue of section 108A(3)).(4) Where the conditions in subsection (2) are relevant to determining whether a provision of an Act of the Assembly is within the Assembly’s legislative competence, the time for assessing whether those conditions are met is the time when the Act is passed.(5) Her Majesty may by Order in Council amend Schedule 9A—(a) so as to remove or revise an entry, or(b) so as to add or substitute a public authority whose functions—(i) are exercisable wholly or mainly in relation to Wales, and(ii) are wholly or mainly functions that do not relate to reserved matters.(6) No recommendation is to be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order in Council under this section unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the Order in Council has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament and the Assembly.(7) Subsection (6) does not apply to a statutory instrument containing an Order in Council that only makes provision for—(a) the omission of an entry where the authority concerned has ceased to exist, or(b) the variation of an entry in consequence of a change of name or transfer of functions.Such an Order in Council is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.(8) In this section “public authority” means a body, office or holder of an office that has functions of a public nature.”
(2) After Schedule 9 to that Act insert the Schedule 9A set out in Schedule 3 to this Act.
5 Power to make provision about elections
(1) For section 13 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (power to make provision about elections etc) substitute—
“ 13. Power of the Welsh Ministers to make provision about elections etc(1) The Welsh Ministers may by order make provision that would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly, if included in an Act of the Assembly, as to—(a) the conduct of elections of Assembly members,(b) the questioning of an election of Assembly members and the consequences of irregularities, and(c) the return of an Assembly member otherwise than at an election.(2) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(a) includes, in particular, provision—(a) about the registration of electors,(b) for disregarding alterations in a register of electors,(c) about the limitation of the election expenses of candidates (and the creation of criminal offences in connection with the limitation of such expenses),(d) for the combination of polls,(e) for modifying the application of sections 6 and 8(2) where the poll at an election for the return of an Assembly constituency member is abandoned (or notice of it is countermanded), and(f) for modifying section 9(7) to ensure the allocation of the correct number of seats for the region.(3) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(c) includes, in particular, provision modifying section 11(3) to (5).(4) An order under this section may—(a) apply or incorporate, with or without modifications or exceptions, any provision of or made under the election enactments, and(b) so far as may be necessary in consequence of any provision made by an order under this section, make modifications of any provision made by or under any enactment relating to the registration of parliamentary electors or local government electors.(5) In subsection (4)(a) “the election enactments” means—(a) the Representation of the People Acts,(b) the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000,(c) the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002, and(d) any other enactments relating to parliamentary elections, European Parliamentary elections or local government elections.(6) No return of an Assembly member at an election may be questioned except by an election petition under the provisions of Part 3 of the Representation...
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