With effect from 1707 Parliament (comprising of the House of Commons, House of Lords and the Monarch) have produced Acts of Parliament (primary source of legislation) which may apply in Scotland. It is often difficult to draft new Acts that can apply to the whole of the UK as the law in Scotland is different to that in England. Legislation passed by the UK parliament may apply in whole, in part, or not at all in Scotland. If it applies solely to Scotland this is denoted in the title e.g. The Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976. All Acts or Statutes start as bills which can either be public bills, private bills or hybrid bills. * Public Bill – Change the general law of the land, apply to everyone within their jurisdiction - Introduced either by Government (Government Bill) or by MP (Private Members Bill) * Private Bill – a proposal for a law that would apply to a particular individual or group of individuals, or corporate body – introduced by an external person or group of people. * Hybrid Bills - A bill with characteristics of both a public bill and a private bill is called a hybrid bill. Whereby the bill has been introduced as a Public Bill but affects private interests. A bill passes through a number of stages/readings and scrutinised by Parliament in order to become an Act of Parliament. The final stage is when the Crown formally assents to the Bill in order for it to pass into law. An Act of parliament may be amended or revoked by a later Act of parliament and the Courts have power to suspend a UK statute where found to be in conflict with EC Law. Delegated legislation
Delegated legislation known also as secondary or subordinate legislation consists of regulations rules and by-laws made by persons to whom parliament has appointed some law making authority. Example - In a local park a notice will list the various “by-laws” which are compulsory on anyone using the park. These by-laws would be made by the local authority area.
Scottish Parliament – Devolved Powers
Following many years of campaigning for devolved government in Scotland a referendum was held on 11th September 1997 which produced clear majorities for the creation of a Scottish Parliament with certain tax-varying powers. Following this result Scotland was granted devolution by the passing of the Scotland Act in 1998 which means that Scotland has a parliament with ‘devolved powers’ within the United Kingdom. This enables the Scottish Parliament to pass laws affecting Scotland on a range of domestic issues and decisions are made at a level which is closer to the people that they affect. The Scottish Parliament can raise or lower the basic rate of income tax by up to three pence in the pound. And matters such as health, education, social work, agriculture, housing and prisons, which used to be controlled by the Parliament at Westminster, are now decided in Scotland. The UK Parliament at Westminster retains power to legislate on any matter, but the convention of devolution means that the UK Parliament will not normally legislate on devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. Many decisions (mostly about matters with a UK or international impact) are reserved and control retained by the Parliament at Westminster These are called ‘reserved powers’, and they include matters such as UK defence, national security, employment legislation, social security, UK foreign policy, immigration and nationality.
European Community Law
E C Law is a body of agreements, law and court judgements which operate alongside the legal systems of the EU member states and therefore part of the law of the UK. Where conflict occurs European Community Law takes precedence over...