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(1)Assembly proceedings are to be regulated by standing orders (referred to in this Act as “the standing orders”).
(2)The standing orders must include provision for preserving order in Assembly proceedings, including provision for—
(a)preventing conduct which would constitute a criminal offence or contempt of court, and
(b)a sub judice rule.
(3)The standing orders may include provision for excluding an Assembly member from Assembly proceedings.
(4)The standing orders may include provision for withdrawing from an Assembly member any or all of the rights and privileges of membership of the Assembly.
(5)The standing orders—
(a)must include provision requiring the proceedings of the Assembly to be held in public, and for proceedings of a committee of the Assembly or a sub-committee of such a committee to be held in public except in circumstances provided for in the standing orders, and
(b)may include provision as to the conditions to be complied with by members of the public attending the proceedings (including provision for excluding any member of the public who does not comply with the conditions).
(6)The standing orders must include provision—
(a)for reporting the proceedings of the Assembly, and for reporting proceedings of committees of the Assembly and sub-committees of such committees which are held in public, and
(b)for publishing the reports of proceedings as soon as reasonably practicable after the proceedings take place.
(7)The Assembly may by resolution remake or revise the standing orders; but if the motion for a resolution to remake or revise the standing orders is passed on a vote, it has no effect unless at least two-thirds of the Assembly members voting support it.
(8)The Clerk must from time to time publish the standing orders.
Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.
(1)The Secretary of State for Wales is entitled to participate in proceedings of the Assembly but not to vote.
(2)The standing orders must include provision for any documents which—
(a)contain material relating to any proceedings of the Assembly which have taken place or are to take place, and
(b)are made available to all Assembly members,
to be made available to the Secretary of State for Wales no later than the time when they are made available to Assembly members.
(3)The standing orders may make provision for—
(a)the participation of the Secretary of State for Wales in proceedings of any committee of the Assembly, or any sub-committee of any such committee, and
(b)the participation in any Assembly proceedings of other Ministers of the Crown and of persons serving in the department of the Secretary of State for Wales or of any other Minister of the Crown.
(4)The provision made by virtue of subsection (3) may not include provision conferring any right to vote.
(5)The standing orders may include provision for the making available of documents or information in connection with participation in Assembly proceedings pursuant to, or to standing orders made under, this section.
(1)As soon as is reasonably practicable after the beginning of each session of Parliament, the Secretary of State for Wales must undertake with the Assembly such consultation about the UK Government's legislative programme for the session as appears to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.
(2)The consultation in relation to the UK Government's legislative programme for a session must include participating in proceedings of the Assembly relating to it on at least one occasion.
(3)For this purpose the UK Government's legislative programme for a session of Parliament consists of the bills which, at the beginning of the session, are intended to be introduced into either House of Parliament during the session by a Minister of the Crown.
(4)If, at any time after the beginning of a session of Parliament, it is decided that a bill should be introduced into either House of Parliament during the session by a Minister of the Crown and no consultation about the bill has been undertaken under subsection (1), the Secretary of State for Wales must undertake with the Assembly such consultation about the bill as appears to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.
(5)This section does not require the undertaking of consultation with the Assembly about a bill if it appears to the Secretary of State for Wales that there are considerations relating to the bill that make such consultation inappropriate.
(1)If not an Assembly member the Counsel General may participate in Assembly proceedings to the extent permitted by the standing orders, but may not vote.
(2)And the standing orders may in other respects provide that they are to apply to the Counsel General if not an Assembly member as to an Assembly member.
(3)The Counsel General may, in any Assembly proceedings, decline to answer any question or produce any document concerning the operation of the system of criminal prosecution in any particular case if considering that answering the question or producing the document—
(a)might prejudice criminal proceedings in the case, or
(b)would otherwise be contrary to the public interest.
(1)The Assembly must, in the conduct of Assembly proceedings, give effect, so far as is both appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practicable, to the principle that the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality.
(2)The Assembly must make appropriate arrangements with a view to securing that Assembly proceedings are conducted with due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people.
(1)The standing orders must include provision—
(a)for a register of interests of Assembly members, and
(b)for the register to be published and made available for public inspection.
(2)The standing orders must require Assembly members to register in the register of interests registrable interests, as defined for the purposes of this subsection.
(3)The standing orders must require any Assembly member who has—
(a)a financial interest, as defined for the purposes of this subsection, or
(b)any other interest, or an interest of any other kind, as so defined,
in any matter to declare that interest before taking part in Assembly proceedings relating to that matter.
(4)The standing orders may include provision for preventing or restricting the participation in any Assembly proceedings of an Assembly member who has an interest within subsection (2) or (3) in any matter to which the proceedings relate.
(5)The standing orders must include provision prohibiting an Assembly member from—
(a)advocating or initiating any cause or matter on behalf of any person, by any means specified in the standing orders, in consideration of any payment or benefit in kind of a description so specified, or
(b)urging, in consideration of any such payment or benefit in kind, any other Assembly member to advocate or initiate any cause or matter on behalf of any person by any such means.
(6)The standing orders must include provision about (or for the making of a code or protocol about) the different roles and responsibilities of Assembly constituency members and Assembly regional members; and—
(a)Assembly constituency members must not describe themselves in a manner which suggests that they are Assembly regional members, and
(b)Assembly regional members must not describe themselves in a manner which suggests that they are Assembly constituency members.
(7)An Assembly member who—
(a)takes part in Assembly proceedings without having complied with, or in contravention of, any provision included in the standing orders in pursuance of subsections (2) to (4), or
(b)contravenes any provision included in the standing orders in pursuance of subsection (5),
commits an offence.
(8)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (7) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
(9)A prosecution for an offence under subsection (7) cannot be instituted except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
(10)The validity of any Assembly proceedings is not affected by any contravention or failure to comply with any provision included in the standing orders in pursuance of this section.
(11)In this section—
(a)references to an Assembly member (apart from those in subsection (6)) include the Counsel General, if not an Assembly member, and
(b)“financial interest” includes a benefit in kind.
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