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Location of Aberystwyth (on the Moon) Bill

8 December 2023

This is a guest post by Professor Emyr Lewis

When teaching public law at Aberystwyth University, I illustrate the legislative supremacy of the UK Parliament through an imaginary Act which provides that Aberystwyth is on the moon.

That would be the law and no court could overturn it, but it wouldn’t change the reality that this is not how things actually are.

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill has inspired me to draft a proposal for this much-needed piece of legislation. I am looking for an MP to sponsor it. (Pedants and purists beware, it has flaws, but these can be ironed out at the committee stage.)

Here it is:


A BILL TO make provision about the location of the town of Aberystwyth

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Introduction

(1) The purpose of this Act is to prevent and deter any suggestion that the town of Aberystwyth may be, or have ever been, on the planet Earth

(2) To advance that purpose

(a) the Aberystwyth Lunar Accord has been laid before Parliament under section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (treaties to be laid before Parliament before ratification) with a view to ratification by the United Kingdom, and

(b) this Act gives effect to the judgement of Parliament that Aberystwyth is on the Moon.

(3) Cyngor Tref Aberystwyth (the Town Council of Aberystwyth) has in accordance with the Aberystwyth Lunar Accord agreed to fulfil the following obligations—

(a) that any person who lives in Aberystwyth shall be known as a Moondweller, shall at all times wear a space suit and may only leave Aberystwyth by Space Shuttle

(b) that the bandstand on the prom shall be named the Moonbase and shall be deemed always to have been so named

(4) It is recognised that—

(a) the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sovereign, and

(b) the validity of an Act is unaffected by international law.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, “international law” includes—

(a) the Outer Space Treaty,

(b) the Moon Convention,

(c) any other United Nations treaty on outer space

(d) any other international law, or convention or rule of international law, whatsoever, including any order, judgment, decision or measure of the European Court of Human Rights

(e) any rule or precept of the Jedi High Council or other authority claiming jurisdiction or sovereignty over interplanetary or intergalactic matters.

2 Location of Aberystwyth

(1) Every decision-maker must conclusively treat Aberystwyth as being on the Moon.

(2) A decision-maker means—

(a) the Secretary of State, the Welsh Ministers or any other person holding public office or exercising a public function when making a decision relating to Aberystwyth;

(b) a court or tribunal when considering a decision mentioned in paragraph (a).

(3) As a result of subsection (1), a court or tribunal must not consider a review of, or an appeal against, a decision of the Secretary of State, Welsh Ministers or any other person holding public office or exercising a public function relating to Aberystwyth, to the extent that the review or appeal is brought on the grounds that the Town of Aberystwyth is not on the Moon.

(4) Subsection (3) applies notwithstanding—

(a) any other provision or rule of domestic law (including any common law),

(b) any interpretation of international law by the court or tribunal, and

(c)  common sense.

3 Extent

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

(2) His Majesty may by Order in Council provide for any of the provisions of this Act to extend, with or without modifications, to any part of the Universe

4 Interpretation

(1) “the Aberystwyth Lunar Accord” means the agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Cyngor Tref Aberystwyth (the Town Council of Aberystwyth) for the provision of a lunar location partnership to strengthen shared international commitments on the protection of extraterrestrial habitats, signed at Penrhyncoch on 5 December 2023;

(2) For the purposes of section 25 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 The Aberystwyth Lunar Accord is hereby deemed to be a treaty and Cyngor Tref Aberystwyth (Aberystwyth Town Council) is hereby deemed to be an international organisation.

5 Commencement

This Act comes into force on the day on which the Aberystwyth Lunar Accord enters into force.

6 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Location of Aberystwyth (on the Moon) Act 2023.


About the author





Professor Emyr Lewis is Head of the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University and a former Senior Fellow in Welsh Law at the Wales Governance Centre.