These pages link to the laws (or ‘statute’) that have been passed by Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales and that apply in Wales in 2016.

Acts of Parliament and Acts of the National Assembly for Wales (previously known as ‘Measures’) are known as ‘primary legislation’. ‘Secondary legislation’ is the name given to more detailed regulations and rules which are made to operate the primary legislation. All secondary legislation is issued under and linked to a particular Act.

Under the Human Rights Act 1998, all legislation passed in the UK has to comply with the European Convention of Human Rights, an international treaty which the UK signed up to in 1951. This is a children’s rights based guide to the Convention and a child-friendly version.

The law in England and Wales is known as a common law jurisdiction, which means that some laws were made by courts and that some legislation has been interpreted by courts.