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Legislation (Wales) Act 2019

Section 27 – Duplicated offences

143.Section 27 applies where conduct is an offence under two or more different Acts or instruments to which Part 2 applies, or is an offence under one or more Acts or instruments to which Part 2 applies as well as the common law. The effect of the section is that a person whose conduct is a criminal offence can be prosecuted and punished under any of the law in question (in other words, the various criminal offences which cover the conduct in question are without prejudice to each other). However, section 26 makes it clear that the person can only be punished once for the offence.

144.Section 27 is equivalent to section 18 of the 1978 Act. That section currently applies where a person’s act or failure to act amounts to a criminal offence under any combination of two or more of the following:


Acts of Parliament,


Assembly Acts and Measures,


Acts of the Scottish Parliament,


subordinate legislation made under any of the above Acts or Measures,

or under any one or more of the above, and at common law.

145.Section 18 of the 1978 Act will continue to apply where an act or omission is an offence under an Act or Measure of the Assembly to which Part 2 of this Act does not apply or under any subordinate legislation made under those Acts or Measures, and also is an offence under any of the other kinds of legislation to which section 18 applies or at common law.

146.Section 27(2) of the Act makes clear that section 18 of the 1978 Act will also apply where an act or omission is an offence under an Act or instrument to which Part 2 of this Act does apply, and under any other legislation to which section 18 applies (including Acts and Measures of the Assembly and Welsh subordinate instruments to which Part 2 of this Act will not apply). Schedule 2 to this Act replaces section 23B of the 1978 Act (which governs how that Act applies in relation to Assembly Acts and Measures) with new sections 23B and 23C. In section 23C, subsection (3) is intended to achieve this result.

147.Section 27 of the Act has effect except to the extent that express provision is made to the contrary or the context requires otherwise.

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