Commission welcomes steps towards accessible Welsh Law

Law Commission Nicholas Paines QC has welcomed the launch of a consultation on a new Welsh Government Bill which aims to make the law accessible, simple and clear.

The twelve-week consultation on the Legislation (Wales) Bill brings forward one of the key recommendations from the Law Commission’s Form and Accessibility of the Law Applicable in Wales report.

Part 1 of the proposed Bill delivers recommendation 15 of the Law Commission’s report. It would mean that:

  • the Counsel General, as the Law Officer of Wales, is under a duty to keep the accessibility of Welsh law under review; and
  • the Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General are under a duty to develop and implement a programme of activity for each Assembly, setting out what they intend to do to improve accessibility of Welsh law (which must include consolidating and codifying devolved law).

Public and Welsh Law Commissioner Nicholas Paines QC said:

“Having laws which people understand should be the foundation of any democracy and this move to keep the law continually under review for accessibility will be of great benefit to the people of Wales.

“We commend the Welsh Government for bringing forward these proposals and would encourage those with an interest to have their say and help shape these reforms.“

Accessible, simpler, clear law

 In July 2017 the Welsh Government accepted the majority of the Law Commission’s recommendations found in our 2016 report on the Form and Accessibility of the Law Applicable in Wales.

The report made a number of recommendations to make the law made in Wales clearer, simpler and easier to access.

It proposed that significant areas of the law in Wales should be codified.

It also made recommendations to allow the efficient passage of technical law reform through the Assembly and improve the publication of legislation, facilitating access to Welsh and English language versions of legislation.

View the consultation in Welsh.