2016年7月17日 星期日

威爾斯法案


英國國會忙於處理脫歐、新首相事務。在這期間,它正在辯論《威爾斯法案》。這條法案的本質是給予威爾斯議會和及其閣員更大權力。它將過往的“賦予的權力”模式改為“保留權力模式”,即我們在基本法討論中的殘餘權力問題。在“保留權力模式”下,英國國會保留一定的權力。
1       法案為落實聖大衛日協議;
2       法案的目的是將大部份權力交回威爾斯;
3       法案修訂了2006年威爾斯政府法,將“賦予的權力”模式改為“保留權力模式”;
4       英國國會將盡量不介入“保留權力模式”之外的領域;
5       法案下放權力給地區協商,尤其是為進一步爭取下放權力的協商,它包括─
5.1      威爾斯議會的命名權;
5.2      下放港口控制權、時速限制、巴士、的士、地方選舉、排污和350MW以下的能源處理;
5.3      下放權力給威爾斯內閣管理船隻發牌、離岸能源、電力站以外的屋宇管理;
6       根據保羅爵士委員會報告進一步下放權力,及如何將蘇格蘭獲取的權力下放給威爾斯;
7       根據2015年文件立法下放權力、;
8       下放威爾斯議會選舉、議事方式相關的所有權力,及威爾斯自行管理離岸油井(包括頁岩氣)
9       落實聖大衛日協議下的:
9.1      下放“天然氣暨電力市場辦公室”的權力;
9.2      “天然氣暨電力市場辦公室”需向威爾斯議會提交報告;
9.3      下放開礦和在岸油井的開發權;
9.4      下放公職委員會的男女比例和交通標誌的決定權;

法律背景

10    它將賦威爾斯議會立法權力,以符合 “保留權力模式”立法;

領土範圍和適用

11    本法案延伸至整個英聯邦;
12    本法的主體對英聯邦有約束力,因為它將英國國會及內閣的權力下放;
13    部份條款如相關於威爾斯議會內部事務和英倫、威爾斯之間的排污,不適合於全英國

後記

從威爾斯法案,我們了解到何為地方自治。它絕對不是香港本土派所說的那一套。我們可以看到,英國正走向分權和邦聯政制。其主要的目是疏導脫歐公投中的矛盾。我們可以從中了解議會民主的真諦。


Wales Bill
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Overview of the Bill

1 The Wales Bill will implement those elements of the St Davids Day agreement which require legislative changes. It will create a clearer and stronger settlement in Wales which is durable and long-lasting.
2 The Bill is an enabling Bill and the majority of the provisions in the Bill set out the powers that are being transferred to the National Assembly for Wales (the Assembly) and or the Welsh Ministers.
 3 In particular the Wales Bill amends the Government of Wales Act 2006 (GoWA) by moving to a reserved powers model for Wales. This is the model that underpins the devolution settlement in Scotland. The reserved powers model set out in the Bill will provide a clearer separation of powers between what is devolved and what is reserved, enabling the Assembly to legislate on any subject except those specifically reserved to the UK Parliament.
4 The Bill includes a declaration that the Assembly and the Welsh Ministers are considered permanent parts of the UK's constitutional arrangements and will not be abolished without a decision of the people of Wales, and that the UK Parliament will not normally legislate in devolved areas without the consent of the Assembly, whilst retaining the sovereignty to do so.
5 The Bill also devolves further powers to the Assembly and the in areas where there was political consensus in support of further devolution. These include:
 a. Devolving greater responsibility to the Assembly to run its own affairs, including deciding its name.
b. Devolving responsibility to the Assembly for ports policy, speed limits, bus registration, taxi regulation, local government elections, sewerage and energy consenting up to 350MW (see below for additional detail);
 c. Devolving responsibility to Welsh Ministers for marine licensing and conservation and energy consents in the Welsh offshore region; and extending responsibility for building regulations to include excepted energy buildings;
 d. Devolving power over all elements of Assembly elections; and
e.  Devolving powers over the licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction
6 The Government established what became known as the St Davids Day process in November 2014. Its aim was to determine where there was political consensus to implement the recommendations of Sir Paul Silks Commission on Devolution in Wales second report (Silk II) on the powers of the Assembly. The process also looked at whether there was political consensus to implement for Wales some elements of the Smith Commission proposals for Scotland.  
7 The command paper, Powers for a purpose: Towards a lasting devolution settlement for Wales, published on 27 February 2015, set out the recommendations on which there was political consensus. Those recommendations requiring legislative change were included in the draft Bill which was published on the 20 October 2015 for pre-legislative scrutiny. The Bill as introduced includes changes that have been made as a result of that scrutiny process and changes that have been made as a consequence of discussions with the Welsh Government and the Assembly Commission.
8 The St Davids Day process also examined some of the powers which are being devolved to Scotland under the Smith Commission agreement. The Bill takes forward two significant commitments from this exercise around which there was strong political consensus. These are - devolving all powers in relation to Assembly elections, including the electoral system, conduct, franchise and registration and devolving the licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction (including shale gas licensing).
9 The St David's Day agreement also committed the Government to examine whether there was a strong case to implement for Wales any of the other recommendations from the Smith Commission. As a result of this work the Bill includes :
- - provision giving a formal consultative role to the Welsh Government and Assembly in designing renewables incentives and OFGEM strategic priorities;
 - a duty on OFGEM to lay annual report and accounts before the Assembly, submit reports, and appear before Assembly Committees;
 - the devolution of responsibility for mineral access rights for underground onshore extraction of oil and gas in Wales; and
 - the devolution of powers to the Assembly to set gender quotas in respect of public bodies in Wales and the devolution of traffic signs.
Legal background

10 The Bill is an enabling Bill which changes the basis on which the legislative competence of the Assembly and the powers of Welsh Ministers are defined, moving from a conferred powers model to a reserved powers model.
Territorial extent and application

11 The Bill extends to the whole of the UK. However, the territorial extent of a Bill can be different from its application. Application is about where a Bill produces a practical effect. The details of this Bills application are set out in the following paragraphs.
12 The majority of the Bill clauses apply to the whole of the UK as they are of constitutional significance by devolving powers away from the UK Parliament and Secretaries of State.

13 The only exceptions to this are clauses 8-15 (which relate to the Assemblys internal arrangements and therefore only apply to Wales) and clause 44 (which applies to England and Wales because it relates to sewerage in England being affect by what happens in Wales).