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Law Commission launch research into Welsh agricultural law at request of Welsh Government

16 Apr 2024 3 minute read
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The Law Commission is launching preliminary research into agricultural law in Wales at the request of the Welsh Government, it has been announced today.

The commission is a statutory independent body that keeps the law of England and Wales under review and recommends reform where it is needed.

The Welsh Government has asked the Law Commission to review agricultural law in Wales and consider how it could be brought together under a code of law.

The aim would be to simplify and modernise the law and to improve its accessibility.

The scope of the project will not, however, extend to policy reform or review the substance of agricultural policy in Wales.


The law which governs the agricultural sector in Wales is spread across a patchwork of legislation.

This makes the law difficult to access and in places, hard to understand.

Agriculture is a devolved area of law in Wales meaning the power to make legislation governing the Welsh agricultural sector rests with the Senedd.

However, this hasn’t always been the case and agricultural law in Wales comes from different law-making bodies; namely the UK Parliament and the Senedd Cymru.

In addition, some of the agricultural law enacted by the European Union (EU) whilst the United Kingdom was a member of the EU has been incorporated into the national law which applies to Wales.

Agricultural law in Wales may therefore contain provisions which apply to Wales only, to England only, or to both England and Wales.

Some of that legislation dates back almost eighty years and in places uses outdated language.

Some enactments will also contain provisions which have been repealed – or which may be redundant in practice.

This project is currently in the scoping stage, which means the Law Commission will carry out a detailed analysis of the current law, to determine what a code of agricultural law for Wales might look like.

Professor Alison Young, Public Law and Wales Commissioner said: “I am pleased we are going to be looking into the possible contents of a code of agricultural law in Wales.

“This is an important area of law for Wales, where 90% of Wales’ total land area is used for agriculture.

“I look forward to bringing our findings and recommendations to the Welsh Government, potentially leading to further reform, including full public consultations, in the future.”

During the scoping stage, the Law Commission will be considering the following:

  • What legislation should form part of a Code of agricultural law for Wales.
  • What technical changes or adjustments to the law are desirable or necessary to simplify, streamline and modernise the law into the code of agricultural law.
  • potential areas which may require further analysis.

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