BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014

BBC Homepage


Education Scotland


Modern Studies

Scottish Parliament

»Text Only

Text Only Quiz

Teachers Notes


Contact Us

The Legislative Process

When a new law is being considered it must go through what is known as the legislative process. In order to allow the sharing of power, individual MSPs have the right to introduce legislation as well as the executive and committees. This avoids a situation where the executive can dominate the legislative process completely allows smaller parties or individuals a realistic chance of influencing new laws. There are therefore four types of Bill:

  • Executive Bills
  • Committee Bills
  • Members Bills
  • Private Bills
Executive Bills

These are Bills introduced by the Scottish Executive and account for the majority of legislation.

Examples include:
  • Community Care and Health Act 2002 (see case study - executive bill)
  • Water Industry Act 2002 Transport Scotland Act 2001
  • Education and Training (Scotland) Act 2000

Committee Bills

This is legislation initiated by a committee. During the first session of the Scottish parliament (1999 -2003) three committee bills were passed:
  • Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Act 2001
  • Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Act 2002
  • Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2003 (see case study - committee bill)

Members Bills

Each MSP has the right to introduce two Bills during one Parliamentary session. Nearly 10% of Bills passed so far have been initiated by individual MSPs. The first was the Abolition of Poindings and Warrant Sales Act 2001 introduced by Tommy Sheridan (MSP).
Others include Protection of Wild Mammal (Scotland) Act 2002 introduced by Mike Watson (MSP).

Private Bills

A Private Bill is introduced by a 'promoter'. A promoter can be an individual, a group or a company. A private bill is aimed at allowing the promoter to obtain powers or benefits that are in addition to or in conflict with the general law. Objections to the bill can be lodged and any individual, group or company who consider that the bill would adversely affect them may lodge an objection. A Private Bill Committee is established to take the bill through the legislative process. The first private Bill to be passed was the National Galleries of Scotland Bill 2003.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy