Inquiry into the establishment of a separate Welsh jurisdiction

Since the referendum result on 3 March 2011 gave the National Assembly extensive powers to make laws for Wales, the issue of whether Wales should become a separate legal jurisdiction has become a matter of public interest and discussion.  In particular, the First Minister has indicated that he intends to initiate a public debate about whether a separate Welsh jurisdiction is needed. 


The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee believed that these developments provided a good opportunity for the technical aspects of this question to be examined and therefore agreed to conduct an inquiry.


Further background on developments that led the Committee to this view were set out in a paper prepared by the Assembly’s Research Service, which is provided below.


The Committee sought views on the following specific matters as well as on any other matter relevant to the inquiry:


  • the meaning of the term “separate Welsh jurisdiction”;
  • the potential benefits, barriers and costs of introducing a separate Welsh jurisdiction;
  • the practical implications of a separate jurisdiction for the legal profession and the public; and
  • the operation of other small jurisdictions in the UK, particularly those, such as Northern Ireland, that use a common law system.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Status: Complete

First published: 03/07/2013