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Introduction to law in Wales
Introduction to law in Wales

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7 Summary of Welsh devolution

This course has provided an overview of background and information on law in Wales, the process of devolution and the law-making process in the Assembly. The approach taken to this overview has been from a legal rather than political viewpoint. Table 1 provides a summary of devolution.

Table 1  Summary of Welsh devolution
c. 940Cyfraith Hywel Dda – Welsh laws are brought together under one code
1282End of government by Welsh princes
1536Act of Union 1536
1543Act of Union 1543
1881The first piece of law passed by the UK Parliament in relation to Wales: the Sunday Closing Act 1881
1907Welsh Department of the Board of Education created
1920The church in Wales becomes an independent body separate from the state
1951Post of Minister of State for Wales created
1964Welsh Office and post of Secretary of State for Wales (a cabinet post) established
1979Devolution rejected in referendum
1997Referendum votes in favour of creating a National Assembly for Wales
1999First elections held 
Government of Wales Act 1998 comes into force
2007Government of Wales Act 2006 comes into force 
National Assembly and Welsh Government are formally separated
National Assembly gains powers to make laws in defined areas
2011Referendum votes in favour of giving the National Assembly further law-making powers
Source: National Assembly for Wales, undated