Ground-breaking Acts receive Royal Assent
Two pieces of landmark legislation have been granted Royal Assent by Her Majesty the Queen.
At an official Sealing Ceremony held yesterday (April 29) the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill became Acts of the Assembly.
The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 is the first legislation of its kind in the UK and the only law of its kind in Europe to include a specific focus on violence against women.
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 strengthens existing governance arrangements for achieving the well-being of Wales in order to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Both Acts were passed by the National Assembly for Wales in March.
A Bill receives Royal Assent when Letters Patent under the Welsh Seal signed with Her Majesty’s own hand signifying Her Assent are notified to the Clerk of the Assembly. The Bill then becomes an Act of the Assembly.
The Ceremony where the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones applied the Welsh Seal to the Letters Patent was attended by Public Services Minister, Leighton Andrews, and Natural Resources Minister, Carl Sargeant.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said yesterday:
“These ground breaking pieces of progressive legislation will make a real difference to people in Wales.
“Our Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 will ensure that the policies we put in place today are long term and sustainable in the future, and truly exemplifies responsible government in action.
“The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 puts Wales at the forefront in the UK and Europe in tackling these appalling crimes.
“There’s no doubt it will make a very real difference to vulnerable people in Wales and it will save lives.”
Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews said:
“One in four women in Wales has suffered violence or abuse in a relationship and every year, 150 women die in the UK at the hands of their partner or former partner.
“Now it has become an Act, this strong and powerful piece of legislation will help prevent violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, and will protect and support victims and survivors.“
Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said yesterday:
“Today Wales becomes the first country to embed sustainability at the heart of our public services. The Act will influence every aspect of the public sector in Wales, moving us towards achieving the Wales we want.
“This is some of the most ambitious and far-reaching legislation to go through the National Assembly and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to building this law that will shape the future of Wales for years to come.”
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