The Welsh Language Act 1993 (WLA 1993) established the Welsh Language Board and provided that certain public bodies should give effect, so far as is appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practicable, to the principle that the Welsh and English languages should be treated equally in the conduct of public business in Wales. To further this, WLA 1993 requires bodies which provide services to the public in Wales and who have received a notice from the Welsh Language Board to prepare a Welsh language scheme setting out the steps the body will take in relation to the use of Welsh while providing those services. The Welsh Language Board could approve the schemes, provide guidance on the schemes and monitor compliance with them.
Only bodies which are defined as public bodies in WLA 1993 or specified in an separate order made under WLA 1993 may be given a notice requiring them to prepare schemes. WLA 1993 also gives the Welsh Ministers the power to give a Welsh name to any body, office or place to which legislation gives a name. In addition, it provides that where an Act confers power to specify a form of document or a form of words, the Welsh Ministers may prescribe Welsh versions of these documents or forms. Much of WLA 1993 remains in force, with the Welsh Language Commissioner carrying out the role of the now abolished Welsh Language Board in respect of the schemes.
Part II of the WLA 1993 continues in force and relates, among other things, to the use of Welsh in legal proceedings.