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Current law making powers

Welsh Assembly Government

Current law making powers

The existing law making powers of the National Assembly for Wales (the Assembly) are set out in Part 3 of the Government of Wales Act (GOWA) 2006. These came into force following the Assembly elections in May 2007.

The National Assembly for Wales has powers to pass laws called Assembly Measures. Measures can only be passed in defined policy areas called Matters. Matters are listed in Schedule 5 to the Government of Wales Act (GOWA) 2006, under broad policy area descriptions called fields.

Further Matters can be added to Schedule 5, provided they relate to one of the devolved policy areas that are set out in that schedule. They can be added either:

  • through inclusion in a UK Parliamentary Act, or
  • by an Order in Council (called a Legislative Competence Order (LCO)).

Whichever route is used, new Matters can be included in Schedule 5 only with the agreement of the UK Parliament. This means that areas of policy in which the Assembly will be able to pass laws will be added to Schedule 5 gradually, on a case by case basis, by agreement with Parliament.

View further guidance on the existing powers of the National Assembly for Wales (on the Welsh Assembly Government website)