Counsel General Questions 6th July 2011 – Legislative Consent Motions

Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Cwnsler Cyffredinol nodi cyfrifoldebau ei swydd o ran pwyso a mesur Cynigion Caniatâd Deddfwriaethol.  
[Will the Counsel General set out the responsibilities of his office in relation to the consideration of Legislative Consent Motions.]  

Theodore Huckle: I take it that by ‘office’, what is meant is the office of Counsel General, namely the position of the Counsel General. In relation to that, my responsibilities are no different, as I understand it, to any other aspect of advisingon legal issues that may arise. I notice that Standing Order No. 29 states that, where appropriate, a member of the Government must lay a memorandum and so on. I am a member of the Government so, in theory, I could be called upon to do that.   

Mark Drakeford: It seems to me that the fourth Assembly is in a slightly different position in relation to legislative consent motions and their predecessors in that, whereas legislative consent motions previously were most often a vehicle for adding to the powers that the Assembly could exercise, in the post-referendum world, they may prove more useful in resisting attempts to place responsibilities on the Assembly that the Assembly may not wish to exercise. In that context, will you, through your office, continue to take a close interest in this matter so that we may be fully legally advised should such an occasion arise?   

Theodore Huckle: I will of course take a close interest in any legal issue that I am asked to advise on. It is a matter for departments and legal services to monitor what is proposed by the UK Government as far as legislation is concerned; it will then be for us to consider the need for a legislative consent memorandum and motion under Standing Order No. 29.