Module Identifier LA37610  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Ms Ann P Sherlock  
Semester Semester 2  
Co-Requisite LA16220 or LA36220 or GF16220 If you wish to take this module and do not have the necessary co-requisite, please see Ann Sherlock to discuss if poss  
Course delivery Lecture   14 Hours One two hour and two one hour lectures in weeks 1-3. Two one hour lectures in week 4  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 Hours Seminar. Three one hour seminars during the semester  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Mini Dissertation: Submission of mini dissertation - maximum of 4000 words required in week 11  80%
Semester Assessment Plan: Short Plan of The Mini Dissertation Required in week 7  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resit by submission of mini dissertation of 4000 words   
Professional Exemptions Not Required for Professional Purposes  

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- explain general constitutional principles and practice regarding the division of power within states
- discuss the division of power between the various assemblies / parliaments within the UK
- discuss the role and powers of the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament
- discuss the way in which business and members are regulated in the different bodies
- carry out research on a legal topic
- discuss issues of particular significance in the individual bodies / jurisdictions
- evaluate the impact of devolution on the UK Constitution

Brief description

1998 saw the passage of legislation to establish devolution in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and providing for a legislative body in each of these jurisdictions. This module examines those bodies - the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the Scottish Parliament - in relation to their powers and working methods. In this way, the module provides an opportunity to students interested in public law to consider in detail some of the very profound changes which have taken place in recent years on the British constitutional landscape.


Aims of the module:
The aim of this module is to build upon the general introduction to devolution which was provided in the Constitutional Law module (LA16220) and to provide an opportunity for students to examine legal aspects of the devolution arrangements in the United Kingdom in greater depth and breadth.


Teaching will be through lectures (14) and seminars (3). The lectures will be concentrated at the beginning of the semester and will aim to set out the basic issues and highlight themes to be pursued by students in their mini-dissertation (see section on assessment). Seminars will be used for discussing work being undertaken by students for their mini-dissertation.

Introduction and General Material: different models, federalism, unitary states. Comparative material regarding general classifications. Legal and practical arrangements concerning the division of power within states.

Introduction to regional legislatures in the UK: Historical background; devolution in Northern Ireland 1922-1972; proposals in the 1970s; background to devolution in the 1990s; subsequent developments including the Richard Commission in relation to the powers of the National Assembly for Wales.

An examination of the legislative bodies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in relation to the following:

-   powers and functions

-   structures within the body, with special reference to the executive and its relations with the rest of the body

-   openness and transparency

-   accountability

-   sleaze, integrity and members' interests

-   consultation with the people

-   inclusivity

-   sensitive issues eg language, religion etc

-   the extent to which 'traditional' constitutional norms and practices are tested.

Reading Lists

Web Page/Sites
** Recommended Consultation
English language website
Welsh language website
Northern Ireland

No single text is being recommended for purchase. Paricular emphasis will be placed on using relevant primary materials such as the relevant legislation, white papers on devolution, standing orders of the different bodies and their debates. A good deal if information is available on the internet
The website of the entre for Welsh Legal Affairs includes a bibliography of material on devolution (material published since 1997). The same bibliography is published from in the Cambrian Law Review


This module is at CQFW Level 6