England and Wales

England and Wales

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England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It consists of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country. The alternative terms, constituent...

. Unlike Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, England and Wales follow the legal system known as English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

, and the two form the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

.

The devolved
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

  was created in 1999 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 under the Government of Wales Act 1998
Government of Wales Act 1998
This is about the Act that set up the Welsh Assembly. For the newer Government of Wales Act 2006, see that article.The Government of Wales Act 1998 This is about the Act that set up the Welsh Assembly. For the newer Government of Wales Act 2006, see that article.The Government of Wales Act 1998...

 and provides a degree of self-government in Wales, including limited powers to amend Acts of Parliament. These powers were expanded by the Government of Wales Act 2006
Government of Wales Act 2006
The Government of Wales Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reforms the National Assembly for Wales and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily...

, and the Welsh Government can now propose and pass its own laws.

History



The Roman occupation of Britain was the first period in which the area of present-day England and Wales was administered as a single unit (with the exception of the land to the north of Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

). At the time, all the native inhabitants of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 spoke Brythonic languages
Brythonic languages
The Brythonic or Brittonic languages form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family, the other being Goidelic. The name Brythonic was derived by Welsh Celticist John Rhys from the Welsh word Brython, meaning an indigenous Briton as opposed to an Anglo-Saxon or Gael...

, and were all regarded as Britons
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

, divided into numerous tribes. After the conquest, the Romans administered this region as a single unit, the province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 of Britannia
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

.

Welsh law
Welsh law
Welsh law was the system of law practised in Wales before the 16th century. According to tradition it was first codified by Hywel Dda during the period between 942 and 950 when he was king of most of Wales; as such it is usually called Cyfraith Hywel, the Law of Hywel, in Welsh...

 developed from this base. It was first codified by Hywel Dda
Hywel Dda
Hywel Dda , was the well-thought-of king of Deheubarth in south-west Wales, who eventually came to rule Wales from Prestatyn to Pembroke. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, through his father Cadell, Hywel was a member of the Dinefwr branch of the dynasty and is also named Hywel ap Cadell...

 (Hywel the Good; reigned 942 – 950) when he was king of most of Wales. The Statute of Rhuddlan
Statute of Rhuddlan
The Statute of Rhuddlan , also known as the Statutes of Wales or as the Statute of Wales provided the constitutional basis for the government of the Principality of North Wales from 1284 until 1536...

 in 1284 replaced Welsh criminal law with English law. Welsh law continued to be used for civil cases until the annexation of Wales to England in the 16th century.

Law


England and Wales are treated as a single unit, for most purposes, because the two form the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England. The continuance of Scots law
Scots law
Scots law is the legal system of Scotland. It is considered a hybrid or mixed legal system as it traces its roots to a number of different historical sources. With English law and Northern Irish law it forms the legal system of the United Kingdom; it shares with the two other systems some...

 was guaranteed under the 1706 Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
The Treaty of Union is the name given to the agreement that led to the creation of the united kingdom of Great Britain, the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which took effect on 1 May 1707...

 that led to the Acts of Union 1707
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

, and as a consequence English law (and after 1801, Irish law
Irish law
Irish law may refer to:*Northern Ireland law*Law of the Republic of Ireland*Early Irish law...

) also continued to be separate. Exceptions include the Welsh Language
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 Acts 1967
Welsh Language Act 1967
The Welsh Language Act 1967 , is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which gave some rights to use the Welsh language in legal proceedings in Wales and gave the relevant Minister the right to authorise the production of a Welsh version of any documents required or allowed by the Act...

 and 1993
Welsh Language Act 1993
The Welsh Language Act 1993 , is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which put the Welsh language on an equal footing with the English language in Wales with regard to the public sector....

 and also the Government of Wales Act 1998
Government of Wales Act 1998
This is about the Act that set up the Welsh Assembly. For the newer Government of Wales Act 2006, see that article.The Government of Wales Act 1998 This is about the Act that set up the Welsh Assembly. For the newer Government of Wales Act 2006, see that article.The Government of Wales Act 1998...

, plus Measures of the National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

 passed since the Government of Wales Act 2006
Government of Wales Act 2006
The Government of Wales Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reforms the National Assembly for Wales and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily...

, which apply in Wales but not in England.

Originally, Wales had its own system of law
Welsh law
Welsh law was the system of law practised in Wales before the 16th century. According to tradition it was first codified by Hywel Dda during the period between 942 and 950 when he was king of most of Wales; as such it is usually called Cyfraith Hywel, the Law of Hywel, in Welsh...

; however, following the Norman invasion of Wales
Norman invasion of Wales
The Norman invasion of Wales began shortly after the Norman conquest of England under William the Conqueror, who believed England to be his birthright...

 in the 11th century, English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 came to be practised in the parts of Wales conquered by the Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 (the Welsh Marches
Welsh Marches
The Welsh Marches is a term which, in modern usage, denotes an imprecisely defined area along and around the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods...

). In 1283 the English, led by Prince Edward, with the biggest army brought together in England since the 11th century, conquered the remainder of Wales, then organised as the Principality of Wales
Principality of Wales
The Principality of Wales existed between 1216 and 1542, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales.It was formally founded in 1216 at the Council of Aberdyfi, and later recognised by the 1218 Treaty of Worcester between Llywelyn the Great of Wales and Henry III of England...

, which was united with the English crown by the Statute of Rhuddlan
Statute of Rhuddlan
The Statute of Rhuddlan , also known as the Statutes of Wales or as the Statute of Wales provided the constitutional basis for the government of the Principality of North Wales from 1284 until 1536...

 in 1284. Later, the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 consolidated the administration of all the Welsh territories and incorporated them fully into the legal system of the Kingdom of England.

Prior to 1746 it was not clear whether a reference to "England" in legislation included Wales. And so in 1746 Parliament passed the Wales and Berwick Act
Wales and Berwick Act 1746
The Wales and Berwick Act 1746 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which created a statutory definition of "England" as including England, Wales and Berwick-upon-Tweed. This definition applied to all acts passed before and after the Act's coming into force, unless a given Act provided an...

, which specified that in all prior and future laws, references to "England" would by default include Wales (and Berwick). The Wales and Berwick Act was repealed in 1967 although the statutory definition of "England" it created is preserved for acts passed prior to its repeal. Since the Act's repeal what was referred to as "England" is now "England and Wales", while references to "England" and "Wales" refer to those political divisions.

Company registration



For a company
Company
A company is a form of business organization. It is an association or collection of individual real persons and/or other companies, who each provide some form of capital. This group has a common purpose or focus and an aim of gaining profits. This collection, group or association of persons can be...

 to be incorporated
Incorporation (business)
Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

 in the United Kingdom, its application for registration with the Companies House
Companies House
Companies House is the United Kingdom Registrar of Companies and is an Executive Agency of the United Kingdom Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills . All forms of companies are incorporated and registered with Companies House and file specific details as required by the...

 must state "whether the company's registered office is to be situated in England and Wales (or in Wales), in Scotland or in Northern Ireland", which will determine the law applicable to that business entity. A registered office may be specified as "in Wales" if the company wishes to use a name ending cyfyngedig or cyf, rather than Limited or Ltd.

Other bodies


Outside of the legal system the position is mixed. Some organisations combine as "England and Wales", others are separate.

In sports, cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 has a combined international team administered by the England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board
The England and Wales Cricket Board is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was created on 1 January 1997 combining the roles of the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council...

, while football, rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, the Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

 and other sports have separate national representative teams for either country.

Some religious denominations organise on the basis of England and Wales, most notably the Roman Catholic Church, but also small denominations, e.g. the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales is a reformed and conservative evangelical denomination in England and Wales....

. Prior to the disestablishment
Disestablishmentarianism
Disestablishmentarianism today relates to the Church of England in the United Kingdom and related views on its establishment as an established church....

 of the Church in Wales
Church in Wales
The Church in Wales is the Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses.As with the primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Wales serves concurrently as one of the six diocesan bishops. The current archbishop is Barry Morgan, the Bishop of Llandaff.In contrast to the...

 in 1920, the Anglican church in Britain operated under the jurisdiction of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 throughout Wales and England.

The Electoral Commission
Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)
The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections...

 maintains a register of political parties, organised according to where the party operates. As of August 2008 the Commission listed nine parties registered as operating in England & Wales (as opposed to 170 operating in England only, and ten operating in Wales only), the largest of which is the Green Party of England and Wales
Green Party of England and Wales
The Green Party of England and Wales is a political party in England and Wales which follows the traditions of Green politics and maintains a strong commitment to social progressivism. It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom, containing within it various regional divisions including...

.

Some professional bodies represent England and Wales, for example the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales was established by a Royal Charter in 1880. It has over 130,000 members. Over 15,000 of these members live and work outside the UK...

, the General Council of the Bar
General Council of the Bar
The General Council of the Bar, commonly known as the Bar Council, is the professional association for Barristers in England and Wales. Established in 1894, it acts as a disciplinary body and a regulatory body through the Bar Standards Board...

, the Law Society
Law society
A Law Society in current and former Commonwealth jurisdictions was historically an association of solicitors with a regulatory role that included the right to supervise the training, qualifications and conduct of lawyers/solicitors...

, the National Farmers Union and the Police Federation of England and Wales
Police Federation of England and Wales
The Police Federation of England and Wales is the representative body to which all police officers in England and Wales up to and including the rank of Chief Inspector belong. There are 141,000 members as of July 2009...

. Other examples include the Charity Commission
Charity Commission
The Charity Commission for England and Wales is the non-ministerial government department that regulates registered charities in England and Wales....

, the Environment Agency
Environment Agency
The Environment Agency is a British non-departmental public body of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and an Assembly Government Sponsored Body of the Welsh Assembly Government that serves England and Wales.-Purpose:...

, the General Register Office for England and Wales, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland in the United Kingdom have statutory responsibility for the inspection of police forces.-England and Wales:...

, HM Land Registry
HM Land Registry
Land Registry is a non-ministerial government department and executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1862 to register the ownership of land and property in England and Wales...

, Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service is a part of the National Offender Management Service of the Government of the United Kingdom tasked with managing most of the prisons within England and Wales...

, Mountain Rescue England and Wales
Mountain rescue in England and Wales
Mountain rescue services in England and Wales operate under the umbrella association of the MREW - Mountain Rescue...

, the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants
Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
The Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation became a Livery Company in 1977. The Company promotes the practice of accounting by awarding prizes to students in the field. It also supports general...

, Livery Company
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

, and the Youth Hostels Association.

The order of precedence in England and Wales
Order of precedence in England and Wales
The Order of precedence in England and Wales as of 11 May 2010:Names in italics indicate higher precedence elsewhere in the table or precedence in the table for the other sex.- Royal Family :* The Sovereign , regardless of gender...

 is distinct from those of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and other Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s.

The national parks of England and Wales
National parks of England and Wales
The national parks of England and Wales are areas of relatively undeveloped and scenic landscape that are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949...

 have a distinctive legislative framework and history.

Geography



England and Wales have a combined population of 53,390,300, or 89% of the total population of the United Kingdom. England and Wales comprises 58368 square miles (151,172.4 km²), or 61.75% of the total area of the United Kingdom.

Major cities in England include London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Liverpool and Bristol. Major cities in Wales include Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 was proclaimed as the Welsh capital in 1955; London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 has been the capital of England since Norman times (replacing Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

), and of the UK following its creation
History of the formation of the United Kingdom
The history of the formation of the United Kingdom has involved personal and political union across Great Britain and the wider British Isles. The United Kingdom is the most recent of a number of sovereign states that have been established in Great Britain at different periods in history, in...

.

See also

  • Courts of England and Wales
    Courts of England and Wales
    Her Majesty's Courts of Justice of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they apply the law of England and Wales and are established under Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.The United Kingdom does not have...

  • Judiciary of England and Wales
    Judiciary of England and Wales
    There are various levels of judiciary in England and Wales — different types of courts have different styles of judges. They also form a strict hierarchy of importance, in line with the order of the courts in which they sit, so that judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales are generally...

  • English and Welsh
    English and Welsh
    English and Welsh is the title of J. R. R. Tolkien'svaledictory address to the University of Oxford of 1955.The lecture sheds light on Tolkien's conceptions of the connections of race, ethnicity and language....

  • Cultural relationship between the Welsh and the English
    Cultural relationship between the Welsh and the English
    The relationship between the Welsh and English within Great Britain is mostly characterised by tolerance, respect, and an intermixing of people and cultures. However, elements of mutual mistrust or dislike, and occasionally overt racism, also persist. Hatred or fear of the Welsh by the English or...