Explanatory Notes

Legislation (Wales) Act 2019


10 September 2019

Commentary on Sections

Part 2: Interpretation and Operation of Welsh Legislation

Section 9 – Variations of a word or expression due to grammar etc.

73.Section 9 makes clear that, where an Assembly Act or Welsh subordinate instrument defines a word or expression, parts of speech relating to the word or expression also carry the definition. For example, if the word “walk” is defined, then the parts of speech relating to “walk”, such as “walking” and “walker”, are to be interpreted in the light of that definition.

74.It often goes without saying that a definition applies in these circumstances. In some cases though this needs to be put beyond doubt. See for example the definition of “education” in section 99(1) of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018, which makes provision about the application of that definition in relation to “educate” and “educational”. Section 9 of this Act makes general provision about the application of definitions, to avoid ambiguity and remove the need to make separate provision in individual Acts and instruments.

75.Section 9 will also put beyond doubt that a definition of a word or expression applies despite any variation of that word or expression arising due to the operation of rules of grammar. In relation to the Welsh language text of legislation, this section will make it clear that a definition or meaning applies regardless of any mutations of a word, or variations of an expression arising due to rules about word order and sentence structure.

76.Section 9 has effect except to the extent that express provision is made to the contrary or the context requires otherwise. It has no equivalent in the 1978 Act.