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.
The Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 had made English the only language of the law courts and other aspects of public administration in Wales. Although the Welsh Language Act 1967 had given some rights to use Welsh in court, the Welsh Language Act 1993 was the first to put Welsh on an equal basis with English in public life.
Basically the Act did three things:
- Set up the Welsh Language Board, answerable to the Secretary of State for Wales, with the duty of promoting the use of Welsh and ensuring compliance with the other provisions.
- Gave Welsh speakers the right to speak Welsh in court proceedings under all circumstances
- Obliged all organisations in the public sector providing services to the public in Wales to treat Welsh and English on an equal basis
Some of the powers given to the Secretary of State for Wales under this act were later devolved to the National Assembly for Wales, but others have been retained by Westminster.
Click here to view the full text of the act.