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FIRST BILL CHALLENGED.

The first Bill passed by the Assembly under its new law-making powers has been challenged in court.

The Attorney General has appealed to the Supreme Court to decide whether parts of The Local Government By-laws Bill, which was awaiting Royal Assent to become law, are within the Assembly's powers.

It was the first Bill passed by AMs since a referendum in March last year gave the Assembly direct powers to make law.

The UK government has four weeks to intervene to stop an Assembly Bill from becoming law, and Attorney General Dominic Grieve informed the Welsh Government he had taken the step due to concerns the legislation would affect the powers UK ministers have, in ways beyond the Assembly's powers.

The Bill was intended to simplify how councils make by-laws, removing the requirement for them to be confirmed by Welsh ministers.

UK government sources told the BBC they suggested changes to the Bill while it was being drafted by the Welsh Government, and claimed that had these been acted on, they would have avoided the referral to the Supreme Court.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 31, 2012
Words:180
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