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Legislation (Wales) Act 2019

Section 22 – Edition of Assembly Act or Assembly Measure referred to

117.Section 22 applies to any reference to an Assembly Act or Measure in an Assembly Act or Welsh subordinate instrument to which Part 2 of this Act applies. It enables readers of the Assembly Act or Welsh subordinate instrument to know which “edition” of the Act or Measure is being referred to.

118.Section 22 is equivalent to section 19(1) of the 1978 Act (when read with section 23B of that Act). Unlike the provisions in the 1978 Act, section 22 refers to the Act or Measure “published”, rather than “printed”. This is intended to reflect changes in arrangements. In the past, the Queen’s Printer (or a person acting under the superintendence or authority of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office) would have printed a version of an Act as it stood on receiving Royal Assent. This would have been, for all intents and purposes, the definitive version of the Act, and could be obtained from The Stationery Office. While that is still the case today, Acts are also made available on the website, in a form which reflects exactly the version of the Act which is printed. This is now how the vast majority of people access and read an Act.

119.In practice, however, the website updates Acts in order to incorporate amendments made to those Acts (while generally keeping the original, “as enacted” version of the Act available). These updates mean that the printed version of the Act and the online version of the Act will diverge. In order to avoid confusion, and to avoid having a different effect from section 19(1) of the 1978 Act (which still refers to the printed versions of Acts), section 22 refers to:


the certified copy of an Assembly Act which is made and sent to the Queen’s Printer under section 115(5D) and (5E) of the Government of Wales Act 2006 once the Bill has received Royal Assent, and


an Assembly Measure as it stood when it was approved by Her Majesty in Council (see section 102 in Part 3 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, which is now repealed; but section 106 of that Act makes saving provision in relation to the repeal of Part 3 of that Act, which is now continued by paragraph 5 of Schedule 7 to the Wales Act 2017).

120.In other words, section 22 provides that references to an Assembly Act or Measure are to the version of the Act or Measure published by the Queen’s Printer etc. which reflects the Act or Measure as it stood at the moment it ceased to be a Bill or proposed Measure and was enacted as an Act or Measure.

121.Where an Assembly Act or Measure has been amended, this section must be read with section 24, so that a reference to the Act or Measure is a reference to the version published by the Queen’s Printer etc., as subsequently amended.

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