Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill [HL]

Explanatory Notes

Territorial extent and application

23 Clause 3 sets out the territorial extent of the Bill, that is, the jurisdictions which the Bill forms part of the law of. The extent of a Bill can be different from its application. Application is about where a Bill produces a practical effect. Clause 1 extends to and applies in England and Wales. Clause 2 extends to and applies in Northern Ireland.

24 The matters to which this Bill relates, namely amendment of the Census Act 1920 and Census Act (Northern Ireland) 1969, fall within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

25 There is a convention that Westminster will not normally legislate with regard to matters that are within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly without the consent of the legislature concerned.

26 The Government has sought the support of the Welsh Government to obtain the consent of the National Assembly for Wales. A Legislative Consent Motion will be debated in the National Assembly for Wales on 2 July.

27 In relation to Northern Ireland, in the absence of the Executive and a sitting Assembly, it is not possible to seek a Legislative Consent Motion at this time. Given the public interest in ensuring the same level of protection for people in Northern Ireland who do not wish to answer these questions, the Government is satisfied that the circumstances of this Bill come within the exception allowed by the convention.

28 See the table in Annex A for a summary of the position regarding territorial extent and application in the United Kingdom. The table also summarises the position regarding legislative consent motions and matters relevant to Standing Orders Nos. 83J to 83X of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons relating to Public Business.


Prepared 26th June 2019