Theodore Huckle QC, Counsel General
The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill was introduced into the National Assembly for Wales by Mick Antoniw AM on 3 December 2012. The Bill was subsequently passed by the Assembly on 20 November 2013.
Under section 112 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 I am able to refer the question as to whether any provisions of the Bill would be within the Assembly’s legislative competence to the Supreme Court for decision during the 4 week intimation period. This period runs from the date on which the Bill was approved and expires on 18 December 2013.
I am aware that bodies representing the insurance industry have consistently disputed the Assembly’s competence to pass this Bill. I am of the view that this Bill is within the competence of this Assembly. I consider, however, it is appropriate in this case to have the issue of the competence of this Bill clearly resolved before the Bill comes into force. I have therefore decided to make a reference to the Supreme Court to ensure this matter is put beyond doubt.