Wales (Welsh: Cymru a Lloegr) is a legal jurisdiction
England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United
England and Wales" forms the constitutional successor to the
former Kingdom of
England and follows a single legal system, known as
The devolved National Assembly for
Wales (Welsh: Cynulliad
Cenedlaethol Cymru) was created in 1999 by the Parliament of the
United Kingdom under the Government of
Wales Act 1998 and provides a
degree of self-government in Wales. The powers of the Assembly were
expanded by the Government of
Wales Act 2006, which allows it to pass
its own laws, and the Act also formally separated the Welsh Government
from the Assembly. There is no equivalent body for England, which is
directly governed by the Parliament and the government of the United
1 History of jurisdiction
3 Other bodies
4 Order of precedence
5 National parks
6 See also
History of jurisdiction
Roman province of Britannia in 410
During the Roman occupation of Britain, the area of present-day
Wales was administered as a single unit, with the
exception of the land to the north of
Hadrian's Wall - though
Britannia eventually extended to the Antonine/Severan Wall. At that
time, most of the native inhabitants of
Roman Britain spoke Brythonic
languages, and were all regarded as Britons, divided into numerous
tribes. After the conquest, the Romans administered this region as a
single unit, the province of Britain.
After the departure of the Romans, the Britons of what became Wales
developed their own system of law, first codified by
Hywel Dda (Hywel
the Good; reigned 942–950) when he was king of most of present-day
Wales, while in
Anglo-Saxon law was initially codified by
Alfred the Great in his Legal Code, c. 893. However, following the
Norman invasion of
Wales in the 11th century,
English law came to be
practised in the parts of
Wales conquered by the
Normans (the Welsh
Marches). In 1283, the English, led by 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, which
was united with the English crown by the
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
England in the 16th century. The Laws in
1535–1542 then consolidated the administration of all the Welsh
territories and incorporated them fully into the legal system of the
Kingdom of England.
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).
Wales and Berwick Act was repealed in 1967, although the statutory
definition of "England" it created is preserved for acts passed prior
to its repeal. Since the Act's repeal what was referred to as
"England" is now "
England and Wales", while references to "England"
and "Wales" refer to those political divisions.
Wales are treated as a single unit, for most purposes,
because the two form the constitutional successor to the former
Kingdom of England. The continuance of
Scots law was guaranteed under
Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union that led to the Acts of Union 1707, and as a
consequence English law—and after 1801, Irish law—continued to be
separate. Following the two Acts of Union, Parliament can restrict the
effect of its laws to part of the realm, and generally the effect of
laws, where restricted, was originally applied to one or more of the
former kingdoms. Thus, most laws applicable to
England also applied to
Wales. However, Parliament now passes laws applicable to
Wales and not
England (and vice versa), a practice which was rare before the
middle of the 20th century. Examples are the Welsh Language Acts 1967
and 1993 and the Government of
Wales Act 1998. Measures and Acts of
the National Assembly for
Wales passed since the Government of Wales
Act 2006 also apply in
Wales but not in England.
Following the Government of
Wales Act, effective since May 2007, the
National Assembly for
Wales can legislate on matters devolved to it.
Following a referendum on 3 March 2011, the Welsh Assembly gained
direct law-making powers, without the need to consult Westminster.
This was the first time in almost 500 years that
Wales had its own
powers to legislate. Each piece of Welsh legislation is known as an
Act of the Assembly.
Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts of Justice of
England and Wales
Main article: Companies House
For a company to be incorporated in the United Kingdom, its
application for registration with
Companies House must state "whether
the company's registered office is to be situated in
England and Wales
(or in Wales), in Scotland or in Northern Ireland", which will
determine the law applicable to that business entity. A registered
office may be specified as "in Wales" if the company wishes to use a
name ending cyfyngedig or cyf, rather than Limited or Ltd. and/or to
avail itself of certain other privileges relating to the official use
of the Welsh language.
Outside the legal system, the position is mixed. Some organisations
combine as "
England and Wales", others are separate.
In sports, cricket has a combined international team administered by
Cricket Board, who also govern the sport across
both nations, whilst football, rugby union, rugby league, the
Commonwealth Games and other sports have separate national
representative teams for each country. A few Welsh association
football clubs, most notably
Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City F.C. and Swansea City F.C.,
play in the English football league system, while The New Saints F.C.,
which represents places on both sides of the border, plays in the
Welsh football league system.
Some religious denominations organise on the basis of
Wales, most notably the Roman Catholic Church, but also small
denominations, e.g. the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Prior to the
disestablishment of the Church in
Wales in 1920, the Anglican church
in Britain operated under the jurisdiction of the Church of England
Wales and England.
The Electoral Commission maintains a register of political parties,
organised according to where the party operates (either England, Wales
England and Wales).
Some professional bodies represent
England and Wales, for example the
Institute of Chartered Accountants in
England and Wales, the General
Council of the Bar, the Law Society, the National Farmers Union and
the Police Federation of
England and Wales.
Other examples include the Canal & River Trust, the Charity
Commission, the General Register Office for
England and Wales, Her
Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, HM Land Registry, Her
Majesty's Prison Service, Mountain Rescue
England and Wales, the
Company of Chartered Accountants and the Youth Hostels
Order of precedence
The order of precedence in
Wales is distinct from those of
Northern Ireland and Scotland, and from Commonwealth realms.
The national parks of
Wales have a distinctive legislative
framework and history.
England and Wales
England and Wales
Cultural relationship between the Welsh and the English
Geography of Wales
Geography of England
^ Cannon, John (2009). A Dictionary of British History. Oxford
University Press. p. 661. ISBN 0-19-955037-9. Retrieved 15
^ Subsection 9(2) of the