The article’s main image is a close up of the Senedd mace.

The article’s main image is a close up of the Senedd mace.

25 years of Welsh law-making

Published 28/06/2024   |   Reading Time minutes

They say a week is a long time in politics, but how about 25 years?

This year, the Senedd marks a quarter of a century. It’s an institution that has changed from an Assembly with only secondary legislative powers, to a full Parliament making laws for the people of Wales.

The anniversary provides an opportunity to pause and take stock of the key elements that come together to make law-making in Wales unique. 

We’re publishing a special series of articles on 25 years of Welsh law-making to mark this milestone.

The series comprises these articles:

Making laws in Wales: from executive devolution to a reserved powers model

This article explains each era of law-making at the Senedd. It explores the different models of making laws: from executive devolution to today’s reserved powers model.

What is Welsh law and how should it be defined?

Should Wales have a separate legal jurisdiction? This article explains why Wales’ unique history means this question is unlikely to go away.

Resurrecting Welsh as a legal language

The Senedd is a bilingual legislature making laws of equal status in English and Welsh. Learn how devolution has resurrected Welsh as a legal language in this article.

The UK Parliament and law-making in Wales

The Senedd’s relationship with the UK Parliament has been a crucial element of Welsh law-making. This article explores this relationship since 1999 and considers the enduring relevance of the UK Parliament despite the Senedd’s growing devolved autonomy.

Wales at the Supreme Court

Over the last 25 years, Supreme Court rulings have played a key role in how devolution and the law-making process are understood and work in Wales. This article explores key rulings from the Supreme Court.

Leaving the European Union

For the first 20 years, 8 months and 19 days of its 25-year history, the Senedd existed in the context of EU membership. Our new timeline shows the process of leaving the EU at the Senedd and how it changed law-making.

International law at the Senedd

How does international law fit in to law-making at the Senedd? This article explains how Brexit raises new constitutional questions about devolution and the role of international law.

Two decades of reform: how have discussions about Wales’ constitutional settlement shaped the Senedd?

Law-making has been heavily influenced by a series of commissions, committees and panels. This article looks at their influence.

The series traces the Senedd’s first 25 years. Welsh law-making is still young and has adapted to its changing context.

Whether initiated from within Wales or externally, further change is inevitable.

The Senedd will need to continue to adapt to the law-making demands of the future. No one knows what it might hold, but if the last 25 years are anything to go by, it’s likely to be another period of continuous change. 

Articles by Adam Cooke, Josh Hayman, Sara Moran, Nia Moss, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament