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England and Wales (, ) is a legal
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
covering
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
, two of the four
countries of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym ...
. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...

Kingdom of England
and follows a single
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and infl ...
, known as
English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Blac ...
. The
devolved Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), st ...
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...

Senedd
(Welsh Parliament; cy, Senedd Cymru) – previously named the National Assembly of Wales – was created in 1999 by the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
under the
Government of Wales Act 1998 The Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws ...
and provides a degree of
self-government __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation without intervention from an external authority (sociology), authority. It may refer to personal con ...
in Wales. The powers of the Parliament were expanded by the
Government of Wales Act 2006 The Government of Wales Act 2006 (c 32) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United King ...
, which allows it to pass its own laws, and the Act also formally separated the
Welsh Government The Welsh Government ( cy, Llywodraeth Cymru) is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved government of Wales. The government consists of ministers, who attend cabinet meetings, and Minister (government), deputy ministers who do not, and als ...
from the Senedd. There is no equivalent body for England, which is directly governed by the parliament and
government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
.


History of jurisdiction

During the
Roman occupation of Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under Roman conquest of Britain, occupation by the Roman Empire. The occupation lasted from AD 43 to AD 410. During that time, the ...
, the area of present-day England and Wales was administered as a single unit, with the exception of the land to the north of
Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's Wall ( la, Vallum Aelium), also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or ''Vallum Hadriani'' in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provincia ...

Hadrian's Wall
– though the Roman-occupied area varied in extent, and for a time extended to the
Antonine/Severan Wall
Antonine/Severan Wall
. At that time, most of the native inhabitants of
Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under Roman conquest of Britain, occupation by the Roman Empire. The occupation lasted from AD 43 to AD 410. During that time, the ...

Roman Britain
spoke
Brythonic languages Brittonic or Brythonic may refer to: *Common Brittonic, or Brythonic, the Celtic language anciently spoken in Great Britain *Brittonic languages, a branch of the Celtic languages descended from Common Brittonic *Celtic Britons, Britons (Celtic peo ...
, and were all regarded as
Britons The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mix ...
, divided into numerous tribes. After the conquest, the Romans administered this region as a single unit, the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
. Long after the departure of the Romans, the Britons in what became Wales developed their own system of law, first codified by
Hywel Dda Hywel Dda, sometimes anglicised as Howel the Good, or Hywel ap Cadell (c. 880 – 948) was a king of Deheubarth who eventually came to rule most of Wales. He became the sole king of Seisyllwg in 920 and shortly thereafter established Deheubarth ...

Hywel Dda
(Hywel the Good; reigned 942–950) when he was king of most of present-day Wales; in England
Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medi ...
was initially codified by
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 886 AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a numbe ...
in his
Legal Code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the code was enacted, by a process of codification ...
, . However, after the
Norman invasion of Wales Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Norman ...
in the 11th century,
English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Blac ...
came to apply in the parts of Wales conquered by the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
(the
Welsh Marches The Welsh Marches ( cy, Y Mers) is an imprecisely defined area along the Wales-England border, border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods. The English term Welsh Mar ...
). In 1283, the English, led by
Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

Edward I
, with the biggest army brought together in England since the 11th century, conquered the remainder of Wales, then organised as the
Principality of Wales The Principality of Wales ( cy, Tywysogaeth Cymru) existed between 1216 and 1536, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It i ...

Principality of Wales
. This was then united with the English crown by the
Statute of Rhuddlan The Statute of Rhuddlan (12 Edw 1 cc.1–12; cy, Statud Rhuddlan ), also known as the Statutes of Wales ( la, Statuta Valliae) or as the Statute of Wales ( la, Statutum Valliae, links=no), provided the constitutional basis for the government of ...

Statute of Rhuddlan
of 1284. This aimed to replace Welsh criminal law with English law. Welsh law continued to be used for civil cases until the annexation of Wales to England in the 16th century by the Welsh
House of Tudor The House of Tudor was an English royal house of Welsh origin, descended from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including their ancestral Wales and the Lordship of Ireland (later the Kingdom of ...

House of Tudor
. The
Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 The Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 ( cy, Y Deddfau Cyfreithiau yng Nghymru 1535 a 1542) were parliamentary measures by which Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is Countries of the United Kingdom, part of the United Kingdom. It is ...
then consolidated the administration of all the Welsh territories and incorporated them fully into the legal system of the Kingdom of England, this was in part, to update outdated Welsh laws, but also to control Wales along-side England, through these acts, Wales could be seen as equals to the English, this was reflected on both
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for Wives of Henry VIII, his six marriages, including his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon ...

Henry VIII
&
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
's coat of arms where the dragon represented Wales and the lion represented England, however as soon as the Tudor dynasty ended with the death of
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
, the
red dragon of Wales
red dragon of Wales
was dropped and replaced with the
Unicorn The unicorn is a legendary creature A legendary creature (also known as a ''mythological'', ''mythic'' or ''fabulous'' creature) is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to t ...
of Scotland with the succession of
King James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

King James I
who demoted Wales' status on the coat of arms and on the first adaptation of the
Flag of Great Britain A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting ...

Flag of Great Britain
.

Graphicarchive of Graphic
Prior to 1746, it was not clear whether a reference to "England" in legislation included Wales, and so in 1746 Parliament passed the Wales and Berwick Act. This specified that in all prior and future laws, references to "England" would by default include Wales (and
Berwick-upon-Tweed Berwick-upon-Tweed (; sco, Sou Berik) (sometimes known as Berwick-on-Tweed or just Berwick) is a town in the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Cham ...

Berwick-upon-Tweed
). The Wales and Berwick Act was repealed by the Welsh Language Act in 1967, although the statutory definition of "England" created by that Act still applies for laws passed before 1967. In new legislation since then, what was referred to as "England" is now "England and Wales", while subsequent references to "England" and "Wales" refer to those political divisions.


Law

England and Wales are treated as a single unit for some purposes, because the two form the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England. The continuance of
Scots law Scots law () is the legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified ...
was guaranteed under the 1706
Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other L ...

Treaty of Union
that led to the
Acts of Union 1707 The Acts of Union ( gd, Achd an Aonaidh) were two Acts of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legisl ...
, and as a consequence English lawand after 1801,
Irish lawLaw of Ireland or Irish law may refer to: * Early Irish law (Brehon law) of Medieval Ireland * Alternative law in Ireland prior to 1921 * Law of the Republic of Ireland * Law of Northern Ireland {{disambig