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The passage of bills through the Assembly

Further to the referendum on legislative powers that took place in March 2011, the National Assembly for Wales is able to make legislation in the form of Acts of the Assembly. The legislation is introduced into the Assembly in the form of bills.  Bills may be introduced into the Assembly by :

  • Welsh Government Ministers
  • An Assembly Committee
  • An Individual Member, if their name has been drawn from a ballot
  • The Assembly Commission

The majority of the bills introduced are introduced by Welsh Government Ministers and are Government Bills.

Bills pass through the Assembly in a four stage process:

Stage 1: Consideration of General Principles

At this stage a committee (or committees) consider the general principles of a Bill.  The committee may ask for written and oral evidence from interested parties to inform this work.  It will then report to the Assembly and the Assembly will be asked to debate and agree the Bill‘s general principles. This is a Stage 1 debate.

Stage 2: Detailed Consideration by Committee

During Stage 2 the Bill, and any proposed  amendments to it, are considered in more detail by a Committee.  Amendments to a Bill may be tabled by any Assembly Member and there is no limit to the number of amendments that can be tabled, however only the members of the Committee are able to vote on it.

Stage 3: Detailed Consideration by the Assembly

Stage 3 involves the detailed consideration by the Assembly of the Bill, and any amendments proposed by Assembly Members.  Amendments may be tabled by any Assembly Member and the Presiding Officer will decide which amendments will be considered by the Assembly.

Stage 4: Final Stage

Once Stage 3 is complete then the Assembly vote on whether  to pass the bill.  If a Bill is passed it must receive Royal Assent form the Queen to become law

More information is available in the National Assembly for Wales Legislation Office’s  A guide to the legislative process in the National Assembly for Wales, May 2011