Hope-Bearing Legislation? The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

Elen Stokes*, Caer Smyth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is a landmark piece of sustainable development legislation and marks a significant development in the emerging legal identity of Wales. Despite the Act’s significance and ambition, it has been criticized as merely ‘aspirational’ – as ‘non-law-bearing’ and unenforceable by legal means. The Act is not without difficulties. However, it also has notable legal and other qualities that are often not captured within the standard justiciability-enforceability frame of analysis. Our aim here is to broaden the context for examining the Act and other ‘aspirational’ legislation like it. To that end, we identify three sets of questions that help to bring out different ideas around the Act’s varied enforceability, its possible constitutional status, and its potential role as a bearer of hope.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalTransnational Environmental Law
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Apr 2024


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