Constitution-Building, Welsh style
29 June 2021
Researchers at Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre have reported back after convening a successful and influential academic workshop on Constitution-Building in Wales.
With the creation of a new commission to lead a national civic conversation being anticipated following the Senedd elections in May, Dr Huw Pritchard and Dr Greg Davies convened an academic workshop to feed into its establishment, by gathering reflections from past constitution-building processes in Wales.
The session was attended by the Counsel General, leading academics from the UK and Ireland, civil servants and chairs and members of previous commissions in Wales who shared their constitution-building experience.
The event was held under Chatham House rules, but Dr Pritchard and Dr Davies have produced a series of recommendations which they hope will directly influence Welsh Government decision-making as the country takes the next step on its constitutional journey.
Dr Huw Pritchard commented:
“A clear series of recommendations emerged from our workshop which should be considered in order for any new Welsh Government commission to create a meaningful consensus around the constitution in Wales.
“Identifying the commission’s target audience was seen as a priority, as was the need to clarify how it might relate to discussions with the UK Labour party on a UK-wide Constitutional Commission.”
Dr Greg Davies added:
“In calling for a national conversation, the Welsh Government is obviously keen to avoid a technocratic commission, but it should clarify at the outset how any other deliberative exercises will relate to the work of the commission.
“Participants in the workshop were also clear that the Welsh Government should appoint a commission which not only has expertise but is representative of the Welsh population.
“Taken together, the recommendations in the report crystallise a valuable discussion which we hope will influence the Welsh Government's thinking.”
The Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, Mick Antoniw MS, will deliver a public speech for Cardiff University’s Wales Governance on July 5th, with further details available here.