Report by the Commission on Devolution in Wales »We hope that this Report will give us the foundation for a fundamental reform of the devolution settlement.Learn more »
£17.8m funding to transform Welsh public services announced by Jane Hutt
An initiative to help reduce the time people spend in hospital in Cwm Taf is among projects awarded over £17.8m from the Invest-to-Save Fund.
- First Minister opens £6m anaerobic digestion plant in Gwynedd
- Minister calls for advice services to apply for funding as impact of welfare changes hit communities
Featured Article »Landmark social care Bill passes National Assembly scrutiny
- £17.8m funding to transform Welsh public services announced by Jane Hutt
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Proposals concerning the publication of Sustainable Development Indicators statistical outputs
- Consultation on the regulations to introduce a new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme in Wales from April 2015
- Onshore oil exploration activities: integrated pollution prevention and control
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- Consultation on the findings of the report on the Impact and Effect of the Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2010.
- Proposals for the inshore crustacean fishery - Phase 1
Featured consultation »Curriculum for Wales: Phase 1 - revised literacy and numeracy arrangements
58 days left
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2013-14 »
The 2nd Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2013-14, which was published on 25 June 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
The Counsel General for Wales
The Counsel General is the Welsh Government’s Law Officer, which means the Government’s chief legal adviser and representative in the courts.
In addition to these “lawyer” roles the Counsel General also works to uphold the rule of law and integrity of the legal community in Wales. The role has a number of important specific statutory functions, some of which are to be exercised independently of government and in the public interest.
The Counsel General is appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the First Minister of Wales. The recommendation of the First Minister to appoint or remove the Counsel General can only be made if approved by the National Assembly for Wales. The Counsel General is a member of the Welsh Government and attends Cabinet meetings at the invitation of the First Minister. Although not a Minister, the Counsel General is bound by the Ministerial Code which makes some specific provision in relation to the role.
Theodore Huckle QC is the Counsel General for Wales. Mr Huckle was appointed Counsel General by Her Majesty the Queen on Friday 10th June 2011. He is the first person who is not an Assembly Member to hold the office of Counsel General to the Welsh Government.
The Counsel General’s statutory responsibilities
The Counsel General’s statutory responsibilities are found in the Government of Wales Act 2006 (see related link).
- Like the Welsh Ministers and the First Minister, the Counsel General may make representations about any matter affecting Wales.
- The Counsel General may bring, defend or appear in legal proceedings, in the name of the Counsel General, if he considers it appropriate to do so to promote or protect the public interest. This is a function the Counsel General exercises independently of Government.
- The Counsel General may refer a provision of an Assembly Bill (including a Welsh Government Bill) to the Supreme Court for a ruling on whether it is within the Assembly’s legislative competence. He may respond where any such reference is made by another Law Officer. This is another function the Counsel General exercises independently of Government.
- The Counsel General can also require devolution issues to be referred to the Supreme Court for a decision.
- Like the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister and Assembly Members, the Counsel General can introduce a Bill into the Assembly.
Although he is not an Assembly Member, the Counsel General is accountable to the Assembly for the exercise of his independent statutory functions. He answers questions in the Assembly once every four weeks.
- Providing legal advice to the Welsh Government and representing it in legal proceedings;
- Holding meetings and discussions with other Law Officers;
- Holding meetings and discussions with the judiciary, members of the legal profession and others involved in the administration of justice;
- Responding to proposals or consultations that affect legal matters in Wales, including those of the Law Commission and UK Government;
- Working to improve the accessibility of devolved legislation in Wales for the legal profession and the public, including considering the future consolidation of existing legislation;
- Approving proposed retrospective legislation and early commencement of Assembly Acts.
The Counsel General may also play a role in the development of Welsh Government policy on legal matters. For example, he led with the First Minister in consulting for the public on a separate Welsh legal jurisdiction and preparing the Welsh Government’s submissions to the Silk Commission on this issue.
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- Appointment of First Counsel to the Welsh Government
- First Welsh Bill is lawful - Supreme Court rules unanimously
- Absence of a Welsh Supreme Court Judge “unacceptable” – Counsel General for Wales