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Plans for a new body to promote legal education and awareness of Welsh law are being published today.

First published:
2 October 2019
Last updated:

Plans for a new body to promote legal education and awareness of Welsh law are being published today.

The proposal for a Law Council of Wales is being published by the Commission on Justice in Wales, which was appointed in 2017 by the Welsh Government to review the justice system in Wales and set a long term vision for the future. The commission, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, is scheduled to publish its report containing its findings and recommendations on 24 October.

The commission’s proposal for a law council follows the suggestion by Lord Lloyd-Jones for the establishment of a body to promote the study of Welsh law. In a speech at the Legal Wales Conference in Swansea in 2017, Lord Lloyd-Jones said such a body was needed to help co-ordinate the work of academic and other institutions as Welsh law continued to develop and share expertise to help avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ when new law is introduced. He also highlighted the need for the growing body of Welsh law to be made readily available to the public.

The commission put forward its proposal at the Legal Wales Conference in Aberystwyth in October 2018 and has considered the many submissions and comments made on it.

Lord Thomas said:

"Our report is due to be published on 24 October. We considered it might be helpful if our proposal on a Law Council of Wales was published in advance of the Legal Wales Conference at the University of South Wales on 11 October, as there was a need to set up a Law Council and as the proposal is not contingent on the other issues we have considered."

The commission has drawn on valuable experience in Scotland. Lord Thomas said:

"The need for collaboration between the legal professions and law schools has long been recognised in Scotland. There they have the Joint Standing Committee for Legal Education to promote the interests of legal education in academia and in the professions. It brings together people with key roles relating to legal education and training in Scotland, the judiciary, the Bar, the Law Society, the law schools and lay members, and is highly effective."