Helping you understand Welsh law

Glossary

Administrative law
Administrative law (sometimes referred to as ‘public law’) is the body of law which seeks to ensure that public bodies act within their powers and in a way which is lawful, reasonable and fair.  More information on administrative law can be found here.  

Assembly Act
The form taken by primary legislation passed by the National Assembly for Wales since May 2011, when Part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 came into force.  More information on Welsh primary legislation can be found here.

Assembly Commission
The corporate body responsible for ensuring that property, staff and services are provided for the National Assembly for Wales. The members of the Assembly Commission are the Presiding Officer and four other Assembly Members (where practicable from different political parties).

Assembly Measure
The form taken by primary legislation passed by the National Assembly for Wales between May 2007 and May 2011, pursuant to Part 3 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.  More information on Welsh primary legislation can be found here.  

Auditor General for Wales
The statutory external auditor of most of the Welsh public sector. The Auditor General for Wales’s role includes examining how Welsh public bodies manage and spend public money, including how they achieve value for money in the delivery of public services. See ‘public audit’.

Barnett formula
A non-statutory mechanism used by the UK Government to determine the amount of public expenditure to be allocated to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  If new money is announced by the UK Government, the Barnett formula is applied to work out Wales’ share of that new money.  It is for the Welsh Government to choose how to use that money, subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

Carltona principle
The principle that civil servants may exercise most functions on behalf of a government minister without having those functions expressly delegated to them. The principle is derived from case law and covers the exercise of functions by Welsh Government civil servants on behalf of the First Minister, the Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General. 

Children’s Commissioner for Wales
The Children's Commissioner for Wales’s principal aim is to safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of children and young people in Wales.  The Children’s Commissioner was established under Part V of the Care Standards Act 2000, which was amended by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Act 2001

Civil servant
A person employed by a government department or agency.  The Welsh Ministers may appoint persons to be members of staff of the Welsh Government as part of the Home Civil Service. Welsh Government staff are a non-political administration that supports the Welsh Ministers, irrespective of the party that is in power. Civil servants are bound by a strict code of conduct which helps to ensure political neutrality, efficient administration, good governance and sound management of public funds.

Community council
Community and town councils are the grassroots level of local governance in Wales. There are over 730 community and town councils throughout Wales. Some represent populations of fewer than 200 people, others populations of over 45,000 people. Their purpose is to improve the quality of life and environment for citizens in their area.

Conferred powers model
The current model of devolution in Wales under which the National Assembly has the power to make law only in the areas where legislative competence has been expressly conferred on it.  See also the ‘reserved powers model’.

Constitution
A constitution defines a state’s institutions of government and their powers. In most countries, laws which set out the constitution are superior to any other forms of law, whereas in the UK laws about the constitution are part of the ordinary law of the land. In addition to laws, the UK constitution also relies to a considerable degree on conventions and understandings about how the institutions of government should operate. Partly for this reason the constitution is also uncodified, meaning that while most of the laws related to the constitution are written down, they cannot be found conveniently written down all in one place. In relation to Wales, the Government of Wales Acts 1998 and 2006 (as amended by the Wales Act 2014) are, in effect, Wales’ devolved constitution.

Counsel General
The Counsel General is a member of the Welsh Government, and its Law Officer, which means the Government’s chief legal adviser and representative in the courts. The Counsel General possesses certain statutory functions, including the power to refer National Assembly bills to the Supreme Court for a determination regarding legislative competence.  More information can be found here.

Courts
The courts are part of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.  Wales and England fall within a single legal jurisdiction and share the same system of courts and tribunals.  The courts carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative (public law) matters in accordance with the rule of law.  The courts also interpret the law and many of the basic principles of UK law have arisen out of decisions of the courts rather than from legislation.

Crown
A legalistic reference to the ruling Monarch in her sovereign capacity, in which she holds supreme authority.  The Crown is an important concept in the UK legal system, since historically all governmental power vested in the Crown.  Despite Parliament’s sovereignty strictly speaking legal powers do still flow from the Crown.  UK Government ministers are Ministers of the Crown, meaning that they exercise functions of the Crown.  The Welsh Ministers are not Ministers of the Crown, but they nevertheless exercise their functions on behalf of the Crown.  See also the glossary entry for ‘royal prerogative’.

Deputy Welsh Ministers
Deputy Welsh Ministers are appointed from among the Assembly Members by the First Minister. Their key role is to assist the First Minister and the Welsh Ministers in carrying out their functions.  More information can be found here.

Designation orders
An order designating a minister of state, such as the Welsh Ministers, under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, delegating power to do specified things in relation to EU laws, such as implement them into domestic law.

Devolution
The process by which the power to pass legislation (legislative competence) has been granted to the three national legislatures within the United Kingdom (the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly), and executive functions have been transferred from the UK Government to the Welsh Ministers, Scottish Ministers and Northern Ireland Ministers or Departments.

Direct application/effect
This describes the way in which certain laws of the European Union are directly applicable (or have ‘direct effect’) in the United Kingdom, and therefore do not need to be implemented into our law using UK legislation.  EU Regulations also have direct effect in the UK, as well as in all other Member States of the EU.  By contrast, EU Directives generally do not have direct effect and Member States are required to implement them by passing national laws. The provisions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union have effect in UK law by virtue of section 2 of the European Communities Act 1972 (as amended). 

Draft affirmative procedure
In Wales, this procedure requires a statutory instrument made by the Welsh Ministers to be laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the National Assembly before it can become law.

Education Acts
A defined term which encompasses a specified list of statutes relating to education law.  The definition appears in section 578 of the Education Act 1996.  This allows various other terms defined in the Education Act 1996 to be applied to all past and future Education Acts.

EU Directive
An EU Directive is a law of the European Union which Member States are required to implement into their national law.  There is usually some flexibility as to how the law is implemented.  See also EU Regulation.

EU Regulation
An EU Regulation is a law of the European Union which applies immediately in all Member States once in force and is therefore not required to be implemented into national law.  It is said to be ‘directly effective’.  See also EU Directive.

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
An international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.  The United Kingdom ratified the Convention in 1951 and it was incorporated directly into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.  More information can be found here.

Fire and Rescue Authorities
The core functions of fire and rescue authorities are set out in the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and include extinguishing fires, protecting life and property in the event of a fire, rescuing people in the event of road traffic accidents and promoting fire safety.  There are three fire and rescue authorities in Wales.  More information can be found here.

First Minister
The First Minister of Wales is the head of the Welsh Government and is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen following nomination by Assembly Members.  More information can be found here.

First Tier Tribunal
See Tribunal.

Freedom of information
The laws on freedom of information place an obligation on public bodies, including the Welsh Government and other public authorities in Wales, to make certain information available on request. The purpose of these laws is to increase transparency and accountability in government and public affairs. There are, necessarily, various exemptions from having to disclose information, including where this is necessary in the interests of national security and where the information is held subject to an obligation of confidence. The laws in this area can be found in the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an Act which has given rise to the phrase ‘FOI request’.

Further education
Further education is generally provided in colleges to students who are over compulsory school age. Further education fills the gap between secondary education (usually provided in schools) and higher education (usually provided in universities).  It encompasses various kinds of education and training, including vocational education and training.  More information can be found here.

Government of Wales Act 1998 (GOWA 1998) The legislation which effected the first stage of devolved government in Wales.  It established the National Assembly for Wales as an executive body with powers to make secondary legislation in certain subject areas.  Most of GOWA 1998 was repealed on 3 May 2007 and replaced by the Government of Wales Act 2006.  More information about the first stage of devolution in Wales can be found here.

Government of Wales Act 2006 (GOWA 2006)
The legislation which transformed the National Assembly for Wales into a legislature with full primary law making powers.  It also created the Welsh Assembly Government (now renamed Welsh Government) as a distinct body responsible for exercising executive powers in Wales, held to account by the National Assembly.

Higher education
The term ‘higher education’ is generally taken to mean education that leads to the award of a degree. The term can be broader than that, however, and also includes post-graduate courses, Higher National Diplomas and higher professional qualifications.  A more comprehensive list of the types of courses usually included in the term ‘higher education’ is provided in Schedule 6 to the Education Reform Act 1988.  More information on higher education can be found here.

Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into United Kingdom law.  This enables citizens of the UK to enforce their Convention rights directly in the UK courts, rather than by taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.  More information can be found here.

Judicial review
An action for judicial review is a claim to review the lawfulness of an enactment, or a decision, action or failure to act in relation to the exercise of a public function.  The judicial review process enables the courts to scrutinise the lawfulness of acts (and omissions) of public bodies.  More information can be found here.

Judiciary
A collective term for the judges, courts and tribunals of England and Wales.  Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary does not make statutory law (this is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (this is the responsibility of the executive), but rather it interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case.  The judiciary is also responsible for developing the common law of England and Wales as well as the principles of administrative law.

Legislative competence
Legislative competence defines whether a legislature has power to pass laws in relation to a particular matter.  If the National Assembly for Wales passes a law which is outside its legislative competence, that law is not a valid law.  More information can be found here.

Legislative competence order
An instrument used to confer legislative competence on the National Assembly for Wales by adding a subject to Schedule 7 (and formerly Schedule 5) of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Legislative consent motion
When the UK Parliament wishes to legislate on a subject matter upon which the National Assembly for Wales has competence to legislate, convention requires it to obtain the consent of the National Assembly before it passes the legislation in question.  This consent is given by the National Assembly through a Legislative consent motion.

Local authority
This is a reference to local government bodies, such as county councils and county borough councils.  Local authorities have a wide range of governmental powers delegated to them, to be used for the governance of their area.  This includes functions to improve well-being in their areas, powers to make byelaws and raising finance through non-domestic rates and council tax.  They are often the named authority for specific statutory purposes, including the local education authority and the local planning authority.

Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales
A body corporate responsible for carrying out reviews and making proposals for changes in local government areas in Wales.  More information can be found here.

Minister of the Crown
The holder of a ministerial office appointed by Her Majesty the Queen.  Welsh Ministers are not Ministers of the Crown.  Rather, they hold statutory office under the Government of Wales Act 2006, although they do carry out their functions ‘on behalf’ of the Crown (see section 57(2) of the Act).

National Assembly for Wales
The devolved legislature in Wales.  More information can be found here.

National Park Authorities
A national park authority was established for each national park in Wales on 23 November 1995.  The three national park authorities are the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the Snowdonia National Park Authority.  A national park authority has various functions, powers and duties including pursuing the purposes of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of an area and fostering the economic and social well-being of local communities within the national park.

Natural Resources Body for Wales
A Welsh Government sponsored body created by the Natural Resources Body for Wales (Establishment) Order 2012. It took over the work of the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and the Forestry Commission Wales.  Its purpose is to ensure that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used, now and in the future.  It has adopted the name ‘Natural Resources Wales’.

Negative procedure
In relation to Wales, this procedure allows a statutory instrument made by the Welsh Ministers to become law, but it must be laid before the National Assembly and may be ‘annulled’ by a resolution of the National Assembly.

Non-ministerial government department
A UK government department which is not headed by a Minister of the Crown, and therefore not part of central government.  Non-ministerial government departments tend to be more independent of Government and political influence compared to Ministerial departments.  Many of them fulfil a regulatory or inspection function.  Examples include the Charity Commission and Her Majesty’s Land Registry.

Older People's Commissioner for Wales
The Older People's Commissioner for Wales ensures that the interests of people aged 60 and over in Wales are safeguarded and promoted, and is a source of information, advocacy and support for those older people and their representatives. The Commissioner’s role and statutory powers are set out in the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 and The Commissioner for Older People in Wales Regulations 2007.

Parliamentary sovereignty
Parliamentary sovereignty is the cornerstone of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. The courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.

Partnership Council for Wales
The Partnership Council for Wales is intended to promote joint working and co-operation between the Welsh Government and local government.  Its key responsibilities are: (i) encouraging dialogue between the Welsh Ministers and local government on matters affecting local government in Wales, in accordance with sections 72 and 73 of the Government of Wales Act 2006; and (ii) providing collective political accountability for action to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services.

Plenary
Plenary is the meeting of the whole National Assembly for Wales, which takes place in the debating chamber at the Senedd.

Police and Crime Commissioners
Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, the functions of police and crime commissioners include: (i) securing an efficient and effective police for their area; (ii) appointing the Chief Constable, holding them to account for running the police force, and if necessary dismissing them; (iii) setting the police and crime objectives for their area; and (iv) setting the police force budget and determining the precept (the funds for the police to be raised via council tax).  A police and crime commissioner is elected for each police area.  There are four police areas in Wales, each with a police and crime commissioner: Dyfed Powys, Gwent, North Wales and South Wales.

Presiding Officer
The National Assembly elects the Presiding Officer, and a Deputy Presiding Officer from among the Assembly Members. The role of the Presiding Officer is set out in the National Assembly’s standing orders. The functions of the Presiding Officer include chairing Plenary meetings, determining questions as to the interpretation or application of the National Assembly’s standing orders and representing the National Assembly in exchanges with other bodies within and outside the United Kingdom. It is the equivalent of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Principal council
For the purpose of local government, Wales is divided into 22 county and county boroughs, or ‘principal areas’. In respect of each principal area there is a ‘county’ or ‘county borough’ council, also referred to as a ‘principal council’. 

Privy Council
The Privy Council is a formal body of advisers to the Queen as Monarch. Its membership mostly comprises senior politicians who are (or have been) members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords or the devolved legislatures.  The First Minister is a Privy Councillor and advises the Queen on matters relating to Wales. The Council formally advises the Sovereign on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative, and together (as the Queen-in-Council) they issue executive instruments known as Orders in Council. The Council also advises the Queen on the issuing of Royal Charters, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, and city or borough status to local authorities. Certain judicial functions are also performed by the Queen-in-Council, although in practice the actual work of hearing and deciding upon cases is carried out exclusively by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Public appointments
There are rules about the process which must be followed by Ministers (including the Welsh Ministers) when appointing persons to the boards of public bodies.  The Commissioner for Public Appointments regulates these appointments with the aim of ensuring that they are made on merit after a fair, open and transparent process, and without bias or political influence.  The Commissioner does not oversee the appointment of Civil Servants (this is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission) or judicial appointments (this is the responsibility of the Judicial Appointments Commission).

Public audit
Public audit is the function of overseeing the financial affairs of public bodies to ensure they are applying funds properly and delivering value for money.  The Auditor General for Wales, supported by the Wales Audit Office, is the statutory external auditor of most of the Welsh public sector. The Auditor General audits the accounts of county and county borough councils, police, fire and rescue authorities, national parks and community councils, as well as the Welsh Government, its sponsored bodies, the Assembly Commission and National Health Service bodies.  The audit process involves examining how these public bodies manage and spend public money, and whether they achieve value in the delivery of public services.

Public sector equality duty
The public sector equality duty requires public bodies to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.  The duty also applies to any other person or body carrying out a public function. The duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.   The public bodies in Wales which are subject to the duty are set out in Part 2 of Schedule 19 to the Act.  They include the First Minister, Welsh Ministers and Counsel General, county councils and county borough councils, various organisations in the health and education sectors and most other public authorities in Wales.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) was set up by the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005 (PSOWA 2005).  The PSOW investigates complaints from members of the public about alleged maladministration and service failure by the bodies which are listed in Schedule 3 to PSOWA 2005. These include the Welsh Government, local authorities, local health boards and police and crime commissioners.  More information can be found here.

Ram doctrine
The doctrine which holds that government ministers have a right to exercise any powers which the Crown has power to exercise, except where they are prevented by statute.  In other words, that they have all the powers of a natural person and therefore (unlike a statutory corporation such as a local authority) do not need to show they have a statutory power or authority for any action they may wish to take.  The doctrine was asserted by the former First Parliamentary Counsel, Sir Greville Ram, in 1945.  The Ram doctrine does not apply to the Welsh Ministers, who derive their power by statute.

Referendum
A vote in which an entire electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal.  A referendum typically asks a question of real significance to the UK’s constitution.  The National Assembly for Wales was established after a yes vote in a referendum in 1997 as to whether the people of Wales wanted the creation of an assembly for Wales with devolved powers.  A further referendum in 2011 extended the law making powers of the National Assembly.  More information on the stages of Welsh devolution can be found here.

Reserved powers model
The current model of devolution in Scotland, where the Scottish Parliament has the power to make laws in any area provided the UK Parliament has not reserved legislative competence for itself.  See also the ‘conferred powers model’.

Royal Charter
A formal document issued by the Monarch granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate.  The National Library of Wales is an example of a body established by Royal Charter.

Royal prerogative
The Crown possesses various inherent common law powers and privileges collectively known as the Royal prerogative.  They owe their existence to customary use and to judicial recognition.  The prerogative includes some executive powers of great importance to the functioning of the State, such as making treaties, declaring war and peace and sending troops into armed conflict.  A small number of prerogative powers are exercisable only by the Monarch or at her express personal command, but most are exercised indirectly by Ministers in the name of the Crown.

Schedule 7
Schedule 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006, along with sections 108 and 109 of that Act, set out the extent of the National Assembly’s legislative competence.  Part 1 of Schedule 7 sets out a list of broad subject areas in relation to which the National Assembly can pass laws.  However, Parliament has reserved to itself the exclusive right to make laws on certain matters within these subject areas, and these are listed as exceptions within Part 1.  There are also some general restrictions on the National Assembly’s competence in Part 2 of Schedule 7, but these must be read subject to the exceptions in Part 3.

Secondary legislation
See subordinate legislation.

Secretary of State
There are a number of Secretaries of State: Secretary of State for Defence, Secretary of State for Wales, and so on. The secretarial duties are divided among a number of persons each presiding over a different government department.  However, there is just one office of Secretary of State, and in law each Secretary of State is capable of performing the duties of all or any of the departments.  Where legislation confers functions on the Secretary of State in relation to a matter which is devolved in relation to Wales, in most cases this function now resides with the Welsh Ministers (see the glossary entry for ‘transfer of functions order’).

Sewel convention
Although it has given law making powers to the devolved legislatures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Parliament maintains its sovereignty and so is still capable of legislating on any devolved matter itself.  The Sewel convention is the name given to the protocol that the UK Parliament will not normally legislate on a devolved matter without the consent of the devolved legislature concerned.  The National Assembly gives its consent by passing a legislative consent motion (LCM). The convention is named after Lord Sewel, the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Scotland, who set out the principle during the passage of the Scotland Act 1998

Silk Commission
The Commission on Devolution in Wales which was chaired by Sir Paul Silk.  The Commission considered how the scope of devolution might be changed to better serve the people of Wales.  The Commission reported in two stages.  At the first stage, it made recommendations in relation to the funding arrangements for the Welsh Government and the devolution of certain taxes, and some of these recommendations were implemented by the Wales Act 2014.  The second stage report set out recommendations for the devolution of further power to Wales.

Standing orders
The procedural rules by which the National Assembly’s proceedings are regulated.  Any change to the standing orders requires a resolution of the National Assembly passed by at least a two-thirds majority (see section 31 of the Government of Wales Act 2006).  The standing orders cover everything from the Assembly Members’ oaths to business in committee and plenary to the procedures for considering and passing Assembly Acts.

Statutory instrument
A type of document containing subordinate legislation.  Where a statute confers power on the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers to make, confirm or approve subordinate legislation, that power is usually expressed to be exercisable by statutory instrument.  The Statutory Instruments Act 1946 contains rules about the procedure for making statutory instruments.

Subordinate legislation
Legislation which is made pursuant to powers delegated by primary legislation (that is, an Act of the UK Parliament or an Assembly Act or Assembly Measure) or sub-delegated by another piece of subordinate legislation.  There are a variety of names given to instruments of a legislative character made in the exercise of delegated powers, including Orders in Council, orders, regulations, rules, schemes, directions, byelaws and warrants.  Most subordinate legislation is made by means of a statutory instrument.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United Kingdom. It hears appeals on arguable points of law of the greatest public importance, for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases, and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases.  The Supreme Court also decides issues about whether the devolved executive and legislative authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have acted or propose to act within their powers or have failed to comply with any other duty imposed on them.

Transfer of functions orders
Orders in Council made by Her Majesty the Queen for the purpose of transferring executive functions. In relation to Wales this involves transferring functions from the Secretary of State for Wales to the National Assembly for Wales (during the first phase of devolution in Wales) or to the Welsh Ministers, First Minister or the Counsel General (following implementation of the Government of Wales Act 2006).  The principal transfer of functions order is the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999.  The functions conferred by that Order on the National Assembly were transferred on to the Welsh Ministers following implementation of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
The treaty which sets out the organisational and functional structure of the European Union.  It was formerly known as the EC Treaty, the Treaty of Rome and the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Tribunal
A person or institution with the authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes.  In the UK, the tribunals system comprises a variety of tribunals in different subject areas, organised into the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (to which appeals can be made from the First Tier Tribunal).

Ultra vires
In the public law context, this term describes something done by a public body which is not within the scope of the powers given to it.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
An international treaty that recognises the human rights of children, defined as persons up to the age of 18 years.  Nations that ratify the Convention are bound to it by international law.  Compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is composed of members from countries around the world.  In Wales, the Welsh Ministers are under a duty to have regard to the core provisions in Part 1 of the Convention (and certain provisions from within the optional protocols to the Convention) when exercising their functions (see section 2 of the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011).  The Measure empowers the Welsh Ministers to make an order applying the Measure to young persons too (persons who have attained the age of 18 but not 25), although this power has not been exercised to date.

Upper Tribunal
See Tribunal.

Wales Act 2014
The Wales Act 2014 amends the Government of Wales Act 2006, making changes to the devolved constitution in Wales.  Amongst other things, it had added limited tax raising powers to the legislative competence of the National Assembly and, when fully implemented, will give the Welsh Ministers wider borrowing powers.

Welsh consolidated fund
The consolidated fund is the UK Government’s central bank account.  The proceeds of taxation and other government receipts are paid into the consolidated fund and used to fund public expenditure.  In Wales, the equivalent central bank account is the Welsh consolidated fund.  All monies received by the Welsh Ministers, First Minister or Counsel General, the Wales Audit Office, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and the Assembly Commission are paid into the Welsh Consolidated Fund, and used to fund public services in Wales.

Welsh Church Acts
This term refers, collectively, to the Welsh Church Act 1914, the Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act 1919 and the Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945.  They form part of the statute law applicable to the disestablished Church in Wales.

Welsh Government (Welsh Assembly Government)
The Welsh Government is the devolved government for Wales. It comprises the First Minister of Wales, the Welsh Ministers, the Counsel General and staff. Formerly known as the ‘Welsh Assembly Government’, it was renamed the ‘Welsh Government’ in practice in 2011 and in law by the Wales Act 2014.

Welsh Government sponsored bodies
Public bodies directly funded by the Welsh Government but which are not part of the Welsh Government.  They have legal powers vested in them and enjoy varying degrees of operational independence from the Welsh Government.  The government functions they perform may be administrative, regulatory, commercial, advisory or involve the settling of disputes.  There are currently nine Welsh Government sponsored bodies, including Natural Resources Wales, the Care Council for Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council.

Welsh language functions
The Welsh Ministers have the power to do everything they consider appropriate to support the Welsh language (see section 61 of the Government of Wales Act 2006).  They are required to adopt a Welsh language strategy to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh Language. They are also required to adopt a Welsh language scheme for ensuring that the English and Welsh languages have equal status in the conduct of public business in Wales (section 78 of the Act).  The Welsh language is a devolved matter for which the National Assembly may pass laws.  The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, amongst other things, establishes a Welsh Language Commissioner responsible for promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh language.

Welsh Ministers
The Welsh Ministers, the First Minister, the Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General together make up the membership of the Welsh Government.  The Welsh Ministers are appointed by the First Minister under section 48 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.  More information can be found here.

West Lothian question
The question asked by Tam Dalyell, MP for West Lothian, in the following terms in 1977:  “For how long will English constituencies and English Honourable members tolerate at least 119 Honourable Members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland exercising an important, and probably often decisive, effect on British politics while they themselves have no say in the same matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?”  This question of the extent of participation by Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs in the UK Parliament after devolution is a live issue in the present day debate on the future of devolution in the UK.