Wales: legislation must be effective and accessible

Wednesday June 27th, 2012

The Welsh Government is to work with a leading legal publisher to develop an online encyclopaedia of Welsh law as part of efforts to improve access to legislation.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Counsel General, Theodore Huckle QC said law that applies in Wales needs to be understandable and be freely accessible to the public in both Welsh and English.

Mr Huckle also announced work is currently under way with the National Archives to improve access to Welsh law on  This will involve signposting the territorial application of existing legislation.  He said concerns have been expressed by the judiciary, academics and legal practitioners that legislation can be inaccessible.

The new encyclopaedia, which will be available during 2013, will provide legal practitioners, academics and others with an explanatory narrative of Welsh law, which will be a bilingual online service freely available to the public.

The Counsel General also confirmed he is investigating the feasibility of developing a separate programme of simplifying and consolidating legislation which already applies in Wales.

Mr Huckle said: “For the rule of law to prevail, legislation must be effective and accessible. I am concerned that Welsh legislation is not sufficiently clear and accessible – not only because of its complexity and volume, but also because it is not effectively published.”

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