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Welsh Language

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether her Department has adopted a Welsh language policy. (94161)

In accordance with the Welsh Language Act 1993, the Department for Constitutional Affairs has prepared a Welsh language policy, which will be put out to public consultation once it has been cleared by the Welsh Language Board. It will be formally adopted, with any necessary changes, after consultation has been completed.

In the period before the Welsh language policy is formally adopted, the Department, in the conduct of its public business in Wales, applies the principle that the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality so far as is appropriate in the circumstances and is reasonably practicable.

Her Majesty’s Courts Service is the largest executive agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs and is responsible for managing the courts in England and Wales. Her Majesty’s Courts Service has adopted its own Welsh language policy in recognition of the fact that it delivers services in Wales. Following approval by the Welsh Language Board, it came into effect on 19 July 2005 and has recently been updated.