2 The Scottish Parliament
The current Scottish Parliament was created by the Scotland Act 1998. This Act forms one of three significant constitutional statutes underpinning the process of devolution within the UK and, in addition, the constitution of the UK itself.
The process of devolution took place when the UK Parliament transferred a number of its law making powers to new law making bodies (legislatures) in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the process and outcome of devolution differed in the three nations, the process of devolution was a response to calls for change from the Nations.
The current Scottish Parliament first sat in May 1999. It has power to legislate for Scotland on devolved matters. Its law making powers are found in the Scotland Act 1998 and have been extended over the past decade in further responses to both political and social change.
There are three key points to think about in relation to law making of the Scottish Parliament:
- legislative competence
- legislative consent motions
- the law making process itself.