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Sport and recreation – what is devolved?

Senedd Cymru has wide legislative competence in this area. However it can not pass laws on ‘betting, gaming and lotteries’ since this is reserved (see paragraph 59 of Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006).

The current laws in the UK governing recreational activities are dispersed across a number of legal areas including criminal law, charity law, property law, countryside law and environment law. Not all of these legal areas are within the legislative competence of Senedd Cymru. For example, Senedd Cymru cannot pass laws on how charities are governed (this is reserved by paragraph 63 of Schedule 7A to the Government of Wales Act 2006). To some extent this impacts on the extent to which Senedd Cymru can legislate to change the existing laws which affect sport and recreation.

The core of the law in this subject is to be found in primary legislation (or ‘statutes’) made by either the UK Parliament or Senedd Cymru.

There is a large amount of subordinate legislation made under these Acts (such as orders, regulations and schemes). Before the devolution of power to the (then) National Assembly in 1999, subordinate legislation was made either on an England and Wales basis or separately for Wales by the Secretary of State for Wales. A number of these pre-devolution instruments remain in force. The functions of the Secretary of State for Wales were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999 (The National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999). This included a number of the functions to make subordinate legislation in the ‘key legislation’ in this subject area which existed at that time. The powers to make subordinate legislation were further transferred to the Welsh Ministers on the coming into force of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Published on
Last updated
12 May 2021