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The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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1.1 Law making processes in the Scottish Parliament

Here you consider the processes used to make law in the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Parliament can only make laws that are within its competence (i.e. that it has the power to make) so competence will be explored before the Parliamentary process.

The Scottish Parliament illuminated at night
Figure 4 The Scottish Parliament illuminated at night

The powers of the Scottish Parliament and processes of law making were established by the Scotland Act 1998, a constitutional statute which forms part of the UK’s constitution. Throughout this week extracts from that Act will be used to explain the powers of the Scottish Parliament. This approach has been chosen to enable you to become familiar with the layout of Acts (sometimes called statues, and often referred to as legislation), the technical language and terminology used. Do not be too concerned if the design, terminology and language of Acts looks and feels unfamiliar, possibly even alien. This is not an uncommon reaction but, as you become more familiar with them, you will begin to find Acts more approachable. The important point is that powers have been created in a particular way: a framework for law making has been created. As you will learn later, if that framework is not followed then there are consequences.