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Legislative Process

Stage 1: a decision on whether the Assembly agrees with the general principles of the Bill

Stage 1 begins with a Bill being laid with the Assembly’s Table Office by the Member in charge. This is called ‘introduction.’

The Assembly’s Business Committee​ decides whether to refer the Bill to a responsible committee (and set a deadline for the Committee to report by). Then:

  • If the Bill is referred to a responsible committee, the committee consults and takes evidence on the Bill’s general principles. It will then publish a ‘Stage 1 report’ on the Bill. Other committees may also produce reports on the Bill.A Plenary debate (meeting of the whole Assembly) will then take place on the general principles of the Bill, informed by these reports; or
  • If the Bill is not referred to a responsible committee, the Assembly will move straight away to a Plenary debate on the general principles of the Bill.

Following the Plenary debate on the Bill’s general principles, Members will be asked to agree the general principles:

  • If Members agree the general principles of the Bill, it progresses to Stage 2; or
  • If Members do not agree the general principles of the Bill, it falls.

Principal Appointed Day

Stage 2: an amending stage

Assembly Members can begin tabling amendments (proposing changes) to the Bill as soon as Stage 2 starts (the first working day after Stage 1 is completed).

Before a committee can consider the amendments, the Assembly must agree a financial resolution on the Bill. If a financial resolution is not agreed within 6 months of the stage 1 vote, the Bill will fall. Financial resolutions are often agreed on the same day as the stage 1 vote.

The amendments are debated and voted on by a committee.Only members of the responsible committee can vote on amendments.

Once the last amendment has been voted on, the Bill moves to Stage 3

Stage 3: an amending stage

Stage 3

Assembly Members can begin tabling amendments (propose changes) to the Bill as soon as stage 3 starts (the first working day after Stage 2 is completed).

The amendments are debated and voted on in Plenary (a meeting of the whole Assembly).

Once the last amendment at Stage 3 has been voted on, most Bills move onto Stage 4.

However, additional amending stages are also possible, and at this point the Bill can move to Further Stage 3 or Report Stage.

Further Stage 3: an optional amendment stage

When all the amendments at stage 3 have been considered, the Member in charge of the Bill, or any member of the government, can propose that the Assembly considers further amendments at a Further Stage 3. Then:

  • If the Assembly agrees to this proposal, a Further Stage 3 takes place; or
  • If the Assembly does not agree, the Bill will move to Stage 4 or Report Stage

Only the Member in charge of the Bill, or a member of the government, can table amendments to the Bill at a Further Stage 3. Such amendments have to be for the purpose of clarifying a provision in the Bill, or giving effect to commitments made during Stage 3.

The amendments are debated and voted on in Plenary (a meeting of the whole Assembly).

Once the last amendment has been voted on, the Bill will:

  • move onto Stage 4; or
  • move onto Report Stage.

Report Stage: an optional amendment stage

When stage 3 (or Further Stage 3) has been completed, the Member in charge of the Bill can propose that the Assembly considers further amendments at a Report Stage. Then:

  • If the Assembly agrees to this proposal, a Report Stage takes place; or
  • If the Assembly does not agree, the Bill will move to Stage 4.

Any Member can table amendments to the Bill at a Report Stage. Such amendments have to be for the purpose of clarifying a provision in the Bill, or giving effect to commitments made during Stage 3.

The amendments are debated and voted on in Plenary (a meeting of the whole Assembly).

Once the last amendment has been voted on, the Bill will:

  • move onto Stage 4; or
  • move onto a Further Report Stage.

Further Report Stage: an optional amendment stage

When all the amendments at Report Stage have been considered, the Member in charge of the Bill, or any member of the government, can propose that the Assembly considers further amendments at a Further Report Stage. Then:

  • If the Assembly agrees to this proposal, a Further Report Stage takes place; or
  • If the Assembly does not agree, the Bill will move to Stage 4.

Only the Member in charge of the Bill, or a member of the government, can table amendments to the Bill at a Further Report Stage. Such amendments have to be for the purpose of clarifying a provision in the Bill, or giving effect to commitments made during Report Stage.

The amendments are debated and voted on in Plenary (a meeting of the whole Assembly).

Once the last amendment has been voted on, the Bill will move onto Stage 4.

Post Stage 4: awaiting Royal Assent

After a Bill has been passed by the Assembly, there is a 4 week period, during which:

  • the Counsel General or Attorney General can refer the question of whether the Bill, or any provision of the Bill, is within the Assembly's legislative competence to the Supreme Court for a decision; and
  • the Secretary of State for Wales may make an order prohibiting the Bill from being sent for Royal Assent.

If no such challenge is made to the Bill, it will move on to Royal Assent

Royal Assent

When a Bill has completed all its legislative stages, it must have Royal Assent before it can become an Act of the Assembly (a law).

Royal Assent is the Monarch's agreement to make the Bill into an Act and is a formality.

The Clerk will notify the Assembly of the date of Royal Assent by laying a statement before the Assembly.

At the first Plenary (a meeting of the whole Assembly) following the laying of the Clerk's statement, the Llywydd (Presiding Officer), will make a short announcement that Royal Assent was given

After Royal Assent

Different provisions within an Act may commence immediately, after a set period, or only once secondary legislation has been passed (each Act will say what its commencement provisions are).

The implementation of legislation is the responsibility of the Welsh Government, not the National Assembly for Wales.

However, a National Assembly for Wales Committee may choose to conduct a post legislative review (an examination of the implementation of legislation by the Welsh Government)

 
 

Progress of current Legislation

Guidance on Legislation

Read the current guidance on submission and scrutiny of Legislation.

Progress of Assembly Bills

​View the progress of Assembly Bills currently under scrutiny at the Assembly

Text of Acts as passed

The text of Assembly Acts and the UK Bills they amend ​are available on the Legislation.gov.uk website

Visit Legislation.gov.uk

 
 

Previous Assembly Business​​

Acts in the Fourth Assembly (2011-2016)

​Since May 2011, the Assembly's primary legislation has taken the form of Acts. The Assembly's legislative competence was also significantly expanded.

Measures in the Third ​​​​Assembly (2007-2011)

New legislative powers were conferred on the Assembly at the start of the Third Assembly in May 2007. The Assembly could pass "Measures" in areas where it had legislative competence.

Statutory Instruments in the First and Second As​sembly

When the Assembly was first formed its only powers to legislate were through the passing of Statutory Instruments.

 
 

 

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