Mark Elliott and Stephen Tierney: House of Lords Constitution Committee Reports on Wales Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 31st, 2016 in constitutional law, news, reports, select committees, Wales by sally

‘The House of Lords Constitution Committee today publishes its report on the Wales Bill. The history of the Bill is a somewhat chequered one, a Draft Bill published in October 2015 having been subjected to excoriating criticism by (among others) the Assembly’s Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The centrepiece of the Bill is intended to be the shift from the ‘conferred powers’ model of devolution that presently operates in Wales to a ‘reserved powers’ model akin to that which is found in Scotland. However, the Constitution Committee concludes that ‘the current implementation of the reserved powers model in the Wales Bill undermines its key advantages: namely providing the devolved legislature with constitutional space to legislate and allowing for a relatively clear and simple division of powers’. In this post, we highlight a number of concerns raised by the Committee in its report, and conclude with some broader reflections on what the Wales Bill tells us about the state of the UK’s territorial constitution and the approach to constitutional design adopted in respect of it.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th October 2016