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Legislative Process

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

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

The Senedd’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 Senedd) 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 Senedd 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

Members of the Senedd 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 Senedd 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

Members of the Senedd 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 Senedd).

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 Senedd considers further amendments at a Further Stage 3. Then:

  • If the Senedd agrees to this proposal, a Further Stage 3 takes place; or
  • If the Senedd 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 Senedd).

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 Senedd considers further amendments at a Report Stage. Then:

  • If the Senedd agrees to this proposal, a Report Stage takes place; or
  • If the Senedd 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 Senedd).

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 Senedd considers further amendments at a Further Report Stage. Then:

  • If the Senedd agrees to this proposal, a Further Report Stage takes place; or
  • If the Senedd 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 Senedd).

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 Senedd, 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 Senedd'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 Senedd Cymru (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 Senedd of the date of Royal Assent by laying a statement before the Senedd.

At the first Plenary (a meeting of the whole Senedd) 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 Senedd.

However, a Senedd 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 Senedd Bills

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

Text of Acts as passed

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

Visit Legislation.gov.uk

 
 

Previous Senedd 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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