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Written Statement - Protocol between the Welsh Ministers and the Law Commission

Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales

The Wales Act 2014 amends the Law Commissions Act 1965  by placing a new duty on the Law Commission to provide advice and information to the Welsh Ministers. This makes it clear that the Welsh Ministers will be directly able to refer law reform matters to the Law Commission and benefit from its advice. The 2014 Act also  inserts a new section into the 1965 Act providing that the Welsh Ministers and the Law Commission may agree a protocol as to how we will work together.  

I am pleased to inform Members that on  2nd July 2015, I signed a protocol between the Welsh Ministers and the Law Commission on the Law Commission’s work relating to Welsh devolved matters. A copy of the protocol has today been laid in the Assembly.

The Welsh Government’s relationship with the Law Commission has been on an upward trajectory in recent years, with ever increasing engagement.  In addition to the protocol, the Welsh Government has introduced the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill which is based on earlier work of the Law Commission following the completion of their project into the reform of the rented housing sector. The Renting Homes (Wales) Bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be introduced during this Assembly and will help over one million people in Wales who rent their homes.

The Law Commission’s Twelfth Programme of law reform also contains an advisory project and a full law reform project relating to Wales. The advisory project on the form and accessibility of the law applicable in Wales will shortly be the subject of a consultation paper  and I look forward to its publication. Discussions continue on the Planning Law project.

Finally I wish to express my gratitude to Sir David Lloyd Jones, who leaves his post as Chairman of the Law Commission in August., I would like to thank him especially for his commitment to ensuring that Welsh matters feature strongly in the Commission’s work. I am confident that his successor, Sir David Bean, will build strongly on those foundations.