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Introduction to law in Wales
Introduction to law in Wales

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3.1 Further change

The Welsh Assembly was welcomed by many and there were a number of positive outcomes. Public access was greater and an inclusive and consensual rather than divisive style of politics was developed.

However, there were a number of challenges that led to calls for further change. There had been a minority Labour administration in the Assembly, and gaining agreement from the other parties proved difficult. In February 2000 the First Secretary had been replaced following a vote of no confidence. These highlighted problems with the model of a single corporate structure adopted following the 1998 Act.

In 2002, discussions and debates took place that led to a resolution by the Assembly to separate the roles of the executive and legislative as far as was as possible within the framework of the 1998 Act. The term ‘Welsh Assembly Government’ was introduced to highlight the difference between the work of the Executive, the Cabinet and the Assembly.

An independent commission, the Richards Commission, was established in 2002 to look at the powers and electoral arrangements of the Assembly. Its recommendations had major implications for the future of devolution in Wales.