On 8 March 2018, Goodman Derrick were hosts to an important seminar on the ‘Codification of Welsh Law’. As part of Wales Week in London, the panel of speakers, comprising The Right Hon Lord Lloyd-Jones (Justice of the Supreme Court), Nicholas Paines, QC (Law Commissioner) and Jeremy Miles, AM (Counsel General for Wales), addressed the Association of London Welsh Lawyers on the aims and progress of the codification of Welsh law.
In his speech, now available on the Supreme Court website www.supremecourt.uk/news/speeches.html, Lord Lloyd-Jones observed that:
“… perhaps the greatest single challenge we now face is to make the law of Wales accessible to the people of Wales. The volume and complexity of the legislation produced so far by the National Assembly and the Welsh Government, when considered in conjunction with legislation applicable to Wales made in Westminster or Whitehall, suggest that this will be no easy undertaking”.
He went on to recommend “A system of codes [which] would mean that all of the statute law on a particular subject could be found in one place where it would appear in a properly organised form, set out systematically in chapters”.
The Counsel General announced in his speech that:
“… the existence of a statutory duty to consolidate and codify devolved law is important to the question of resourcing … I am pleased to say that this will actually be discussed by the Cabinet next week, and subject to the agreement of my Cabinet colleagues I hope to consult on a Draft Bill over the summer which would implement this recommendation around the turn of the year”.
Introducing the seminar, one of the sponsors of the event, Jonathan Haydn-Williams (Goodman Derrick Solicitor and Mediator), drew attention to the tradition of codification of Welsh law, beginning in the 10th century with the laws of King Hywel ‘the Good’.