The conference was launched in a special evening reception at the Pierhead on 16 May 2017 kindly sponsored by the First Minister of Wales. The event also provided an opportunity to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Welsh Language Act (1967): a significant piece of legislation which established rights for people to use Welsh in legal proceedings in Wales and paved the way for subsequent legislation recognising the rights of Welsh speakers.
We were honoured to welcome Elin Jones AM, Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales and the Rt Hon, Sir David Lloyd Jones, Lord Justice of Appeal as guest speakers at the event. You can read Sir David Lloyd Jones's address in full by following this link: The Welsh Language Act 1967: the first 50 years
The Commissioner wishes to thank the The Law Society for their generous sponsorship towards this event.
Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales
Carwyn Jones was born in 1967, he was educated at Brynteg Comprehensive School, Bridgend, University of Wales, Aberystwyth and Inns of Court School of Law, London. Prior to his election, he was a barrister in chambers in Swansea specialising in Criminal, Family and Personal Injury Law and a professional tutor at Cardiff University Law School. He has been a Bridgend County Borough Councillor and was Chair of the County Borough Council Labour Group. He is also a member of UNISON, Unite the Union, yr RSPB and the National Trust. He has been a Labour Party member since 1987 and played an active role in the 'Yes for Wales' campaign.
Carwyn Jones was appointed as a Deputy Secretary in March 2000 and appointed as the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretary on the eve of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July 2000. In March 2002 the role of Business Minister was added to his Rural Affairs portfolio. In June 2002 he was appointed Minister for Open Government. In May 2003 he was appointed Minister for the Environment, Planning and the Countryside. In May 2007 he was appointed Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language and from July 2007 was appointed Counsel General and Leader of the House.
Following the retirement of Rhodri Morgan AM, he was appointed First Minister of Wales on 9 December 2009 and was appointed to the Privy Council on 9 June 2010. Following the Assembly Elections in May 2016, he was re-appointed First Minister.
His interests include sports, reading and travelling. He is a fluent Welsh speaker.
Elin Jones AMPresiding Officer
Elin Jones has been a member of the National Assembly for Wales since its creation in 1999 and she was elected Presiding Officer in May 2016. In this role she chairs the Business Committee and the Assembly Commission, as well as keeping order in Plenary meetings.
Elin was born and brought up in Lampeter in Ceredigion, the constituency she represents. She graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc in Economics and took a post-graduate MSc in Agricultural Economics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, before working as an Economic Development officer for the Development Board for Rural Wales.
Before being elected to the Assembly, Elin served as an Aberystwyth town Councillor and was the town’s youngest ever Mayor in 1997-98.
During her time at the Assembly, Elin has been Shadow Economic Development Minister, Shadow Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside, and Shadow Health Minister. From 2007-2011 she was the Welsh Government’s Minister for Rural Affairs. She was the Chair of Plaid Cymru from 2000-2002.
Internationally, Elin represents the Assembly at meetings of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) and is President of the Assembly’s Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
Outside the Assembly, Elin enjoys music, films, reading and football – she is a committed supporter of Aberystwyth Town Football Club.
Rt Hon Sir David Lloyd Jones
Lord Justice of Appeal
Lord Justice Lloyd Jones was born and brought up in Pontypridd and educated at Pontypridd Boys’ Grammar School and Downing College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1975 by the Middle Temple. From 1975 to 1991 he was a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. He became a Recorder on the Wales and Chester Circuit in 1994. He served as a Junior Crown Counsel (Common Law) from 1997 to 1999 when he was appointed Queen's Counsel. In 2004-5 he was Chair of the Bar European Group.
He was appointed a High Court judge in 2005. He served as a Presiding Judge on the Wales Circuit and Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh Language from 2008 to 2011. He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and to the Privy Council in 2012. From 2012 to 2015 he was Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University and of Downing College, Cambridge.
He is an Honorary LL.D of the University of South Wales and Swansea University.