Making Laws

Published 19/11/2020   |   Last Updated 16/01/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

Members of the Senedd you elect debate, examine and make laws that shape life in Wales. This has been possible since 2008.

Concerning Wales

Wales can only make a law within the areas it has responsibility for.

These areas include Health, Transport and Agriculture - while things like the Military, International Diplomacy and Policing are currently reserved by the UK Government.

When we create a law it is called an Act of the Senedd. The ability to make laws was brought into effect after a national referendum in 2011.

Where does a new law come from?

In Wales, there are separate laws from the rest of the UK concerning varied aspects of daily life. These include the sale of plastic bags, a ban on wild animals in circuses and Land Transaction Tax.

New laws begin as documents called Bills. Bills are drafts of proposed new laws. These can be put forward by the Welsh Government, a Senedd Committee, an individual Member, or the Senedd Commission.

How a Bill becomes a law

There are a number of stages a Bill passes through before becoming an Act of the Senedd.

These stages ensure that a bill is subject to public debate and scrutiny. Some of these stages also provide an opportunity for a bill to be changed.

Here's an outline of the stages of a public Bill:

Stage 1

Members of the Senedd decide if Wales needs the new law.

Stage 2

A Senedd committee will look at the Bill closely, take evidence from those affected or experts, before suggesting changes or improvements.

Stage 3

Members meet in Plenary, the meeting of all Members of the Senedd in the Siambr. They look at the committee’s report and the Bill, review suggestions, debate and make final changes to its wording.

Stage 4

Members vote in Plenary to approve the final wording of the Bill.

Royal Assent

The King grants Royal Assent to the Bill. When this happens the Bill can become an Act of the Senedd, a new Welsh Law.

Find out more about the legislative process