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Legislation (Wales) Act 2019

Section 6 and Schedule 1 – Definitions of words and expressions

60.Section 6 provides that the words and expressions set out in Schedule 1 (which it introduces) have the meaning given in that Schedule where they are used in Assembly Acts and Welsh subordinate instruments to which Part 2 of the Act applies. The terms listed in Schedule 1 are ones that are expected to be used in Welsh legislation and to have a consistent meaning.

61.Schedule 1 contains definitions of:


terms relating to legislation (e.g. “Assembly Act”, “enactment” and “subordinate legislation”);


terms relating to central government and public bodies (e.g. “Welsh Ministers”, “Natural Resources Wales” and “Minister of the Crown”);


terms relating to criminal offences and courts (e.g. “summary offence”, “county court” and “High Court”);


terms relating to the European Union and Brexit (e.g. “EU instrument”, “retained direct EU legislation” and “member State”);


other basic legal terms (e.g. “land”, “person”, “Wales”, “writing” and “working day”).

62.Schedule 1 to the Act is similar to Schedule 1 to the 1978 Act, but it does not include terms listed in Schedule 1 to the 1978 Act that are irrelevant to Welsh legislation, such as “Bank of Ireland”. On the other hand, it includes some terms that do not appear in Schedule 1 to the 1978 Act but which are likely to be relevant to Welsh legislation, such as “Welsh Ministers”.

63.Where Schedule 1 to the Act defines a word or expression that is also defined in Schedule 1 to the 1978 Act, the definition given in this Act is usually intended to have the same effect as that in the 1978 Act even if it appears different from the equivalent definition in the 1978 Act.

64.However, there are some definitions that appear in both Schedule 1 to the Act and Schedule 1 to the 1978 Act which are different in this Act:


The definitions of various courts in this Act include only the courts that operate within the jurisdiction of England and Wales, whereas the definitions in the 1978 Act also include the equivalent courts in Northern Ireland.


Whereas the definition of “financial year” in the 1978 Act is limited to certain references relating to public money, the definition in this Act will apply for all purposes. However, in practice references to financial years in Welsh legislation nearly always relate to the financial years of public bodies.


The definition of “Wales” in the Act is intended to reproduce the effect of the definition in the Government of Wales Act 2006 (set out in section 158(1) of that Act). The definition of “Wales” in the 1978 Act is limited to the local authority areas in Wales, but the 2006 Act expands that definition to include “the sea adjacent to Wales out as far as the seaward boundary of the territorial sea”. As the Government of Wales Act 2006 deals with the powers of the National Assembly for Wales to make legislation, this Act provides for the default definition of “Wales” to be in line with the definition in the 2006 Act (but using slightly different language in order to be more consistent with other legislation that refers to the sea).

65.Some definitions in Schedule 1 refer to provisions in Acts of the UK Parliament or in other UK legislation, all of which are enacted only in English. The Welsh language text of Schedule 1 refers to those Acts and other legislation using Welsh translations of their titles (or “courtesy titles”) rather than the original titles in English. The Welsh language version of these Explanatory Notes lists the courtesy titles that have been used for Acts and other legislation mentioned in Schedule 1.

66.By virtue of section 4(1) of the Act, section 6(1) and Schedule 1 have effect except to the extent that express provision is made to the contrary or the context requires otherwise. An Assembly Act or Welsh subordinate instrument may therefore give a term listed in Schedule 1 a different meaning from that in Schedule 1.

67.Section 6(2) provides for a power to amend the Schedule. This would allow definitions to be added to the Schedule where it would be helpful to do so, or to reflect legislative changes that affect the meaning of terms listed in the Schedule. Under section 42 of the Act, this power would be subject to the affirmative procedure.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Welsh Parliament.


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