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Introduction to law in Wales
Introduction to law in Wales

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5 Subordinate legislation in the National Assembly

Acts of the Assembly are now seen as primary legislation. In the same way that the UK Parliament passes laws that permit the making of delegated legislation, many of the acts of the Assembly give powers to others (such as Ministers) to make more detailed legal rules and regulation.

The procedure for subordinate legislation in the Assembly differs from that of the UK Parliament. There are three main categories:

  • No procedure: This is usually published but requires only the approval of ministers.
  • Negative resolution: This is published, but within 40 days the Assembly can agree to annul the legislation if a member tables a motion requesting it. A negative resolution comes into force automatically unless there is a request for it to be debated in the Assembly.
  • Affirmative resolution: This is published in draft and requires the whole Assembly to approve it before it can come in force. An affirmative resolution is always debated and has to be approved by the whole Assembly.

If there is particularly important piece of legislation or contentious legislation, a super-affirmative procedure may be used. This follows the affirmative procedure with the additional requirement for a period of consultation.

The Assembly has an Assembly Committee that is allowed up to twenty days to report to the Assembly on any issues raised by subordinate legislation.