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Legislation (Wales) Act 2019

Section 38 – Power to replace descriptions of dates and times in Welsh legislation

194.Section 38(1) gives the Welsh Ministers a power to amend Welsh legislation which contains a description of a date or time, by inserting a reference to the actual date or time once it is known. The power is available where a date or time is described by reference to the coming into force of an enactment or the occurrence of any other event. For example, if an Assembly Act refers to things done on or after “the day on which section 10 comes into force”, and section 10 is brought into force on 1 January 2018, the Act could be amended to refer to things done on or after “1 January 2018”.

195.The power in section 38(1) cannot be used to change the effect of the legislation in question, but only to change the way in which that effect is expressed. The purpose of the power is to make legislation simpler and more accessible. Regulations under section 38(1) will mean that people reading the up-to-date text of the legislation will be able to understand references to dates or times without needing to refer to other legislation or documents (such as commencement orders).

196.Where a date is inserted, readers may find it helpful to know the significance of that date. Section 38(2) therefore enables regulations under section 38(1) to add an explanation of the date they insert. For example, it might sometimes be helpful to replace “the day on which section 10 comes into force” with “1 January 2018 (the day on which section 10 came into force)”.

197.Subsection (2) also confers a power to make consequential amendments, repeals and revocations. For example, if Welsh legislation contained references to an “appointed day,” which were replaced with references to the actual day that was appointed, an amendment might be made to remove the definition of the “appointed day”.

198.Subsection (3) identifies the Welsh legislation that may be amended under this section, to include primary and secondary legislation made by the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Ministers, and other enactments so far as they are amended by those types of legislation. The power may be used to amend both existing legislation and legislation enacted after this section comes into force.

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