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 (including Monmouthshire) and gave the relevant Minister the right to authorise the production of a Welsh version of any documents required or allowed by the Act.
|Long title||An Act to make further provision with respect to the Welsh language and references in Acts of Parliament to Wales.|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland|
|Royal assent||27 July 1967|
|Repealed by||Welsh Language Act 1993|
The Welsh Language Act 1967 is a short Act, consisting of a Preamble and five sections. The Preamble states that "it is proper that the Welsh language should be freely used by those who so desire in the hearing of legal proceedings in Wales". The first section gives the right to use Welsh orally in court proceedings in Wales provided that the person who wishes to do so has notified the court in advance. It also repeals section 1 of the Welsh Courts Act 1942, which had allowed the use of Welsh in courts in Wales if the person speaking were under a disadvantage in having to speak English. The second and third sections allowed but did not require Ministers to provide Welsh versions of forms or wordings. The fourth section of the Act repealed the provision in Part 3 of the Wales and Berwick Act 1746 that the term "England" should include Wales.
The Act was based on the Hughes Parry report into the status of Welsh, published in 1965, which advocated equal validity for Welsh in speech and in written documents, both in the courts and in public administration in Wales. However, the Act did not include all of the report's recommendations.
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, even though most of the population spoke Welsh and few spoke English. The 1967 Act was the first alteration to this situation, but the Welsh Language Act 1993, was the first to put Welsh on an equal basis with English in public life.