Helping you understand Welsh law

Welsh language

The core of the law relating to the Welsh language is to be found in primary legislation (or 'statutes') made by either the UK Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales. The principal statutes which contain provisions that apply in relation to the Welsh language are:

Orders and regulations (subordinate legislation) have been made under both WLA 1993 and WLWM 2011.

It is well established that the Welsh and English languages must be treated equally in the conduct of public business in Wales.  However, the way in which that is achieved is changing.  Since 1993 the Welsh Language Board has been responsible for requiring public bodies to have a Welsh language scheme and for monitoring their compliance with the scheme.

The National Assembly passed the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 to modernise the existing laws regarding the use of Welsh in the delivery of public services.  The Welsh Language Board has been replaced by a Welsh Language Commissioner and the existing system of Welsh language schemes will be gradually replaced with standards of conduct relating to the Welsh language.

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