The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Recognising the contribution of Wales in contemporary society

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Bydded cyfiawnder! Ffarwél i EnglandandWales

The Cymmrodorion Eisteddfod lecture (the Annual Sir Thomas ParryWilliams Memorial Lecture) for 2018 explores the role of the Commission on Justice in Wales, which is chaired by the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgïedd. The lecture examines the history and implications of ‘the England and Wales jurisdiction’, a legal concept which has its origins in the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1543. The central argument of the lecture is that while there are a number of contexts in which the phrase ‘England and Wales’ – or ‘Cymru a Lloegr’ in Welsh – might be used, the specific conjunction of the two place names in legal discourse is so distinctive and so significant to the future of Wales, in or out of Europe, that its legal uses might best be signified through a single close compound: ‘EnglandandWales’. The lecture argues that the establishment of a Commission on Justice in Wales by a devolved government in Wales has moved us one step closer to resolving this ‘anachronistic phenomenon’ whereby the only legal jurusdiction which currently operates in Wales – despite the establishment of a Welsh government in Cardiff – is the jurisdiction of ‘EnglandandWales’, an entity which came into being as a consequence of the infamous Acts of Union.

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