- Scotland Act 1998
Infobox UK Legislation
short_title= Scotland Act 1998
parliament=Parliament of the United Kingdom
long_title=An Act to provide for the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and Administration and other changes in the government of Scotland; to provide for changes in the constitution and functions of certain public authorities; to provide for the variation of the basic rate of income tax in relation to income of Scottish taxpayers in accordance with a resolution of the Scottish Parliament; to amend the law about parliamentary constituencies in Scotland; and for connected purposes.
statute_book_chapter=1998 Chapter 46
19 November 1998
commencement=Various dates from 19 November 1998 to 1 April 2000. [ [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukpga_19980046_en_10#pt6-pb4-l1g130 Section 130.] ] [ [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/19983178.htm Scotland Act 1998 (Commencement) Order 1998] ]
Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004
status=Current|The Scotland Act 1998 (1998 c. 46) is an Act of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is the Act which established the devolved Scottish Parliament.
The Act was introduced by the Labour government in 1998 after the
Scotland referendum, 1997showed that Scotland was in favour of both of the set questions, firstly for the creation of a parliamentfor Scotlandand secondly, that this parliament should have tax varying powers. The Act creates the Scottish Parliament, sets out how Members of the Scottish Parliamentare to be elected [ Sections 1 to 18. ] , makes some provision about the internal operation of the Parliament [ Sections 19 to 27, 39 to 43. ] (although many issues are left for the Parliament itself to regulate) and sets out the process for the Parliament to consider and pass Bills which become Acts of the Scottish Parliamentonce they receive Royal Assent[ Sections 28 to 36. ] . The Act specifically asserts the continued power of the UK Parliament to legislate in respect of Scotland; [Section 28(7).] thereby upholding the concept of Westminster's absolute Parliamentary sovereignty.
The Act also provides for the creation of a 'Scottish Executive' [ Section 44. ] though one of the early actions of the SNP administration that won power in the 2007 elections was to rebrand the Scottish Executive, as the group of Ministers and their civil servants had been known, as the
Scottish Government. Despite the re-branding, the 'Scottish Executive' still uses the original description for a number of purposes (s.44 of the Scotland Act defines the nature of the body but does not use the words "shall be known as" with regard to a name as is the case with various other bodies whose names are thus fixed by statute). It consists of a First Minister and other Ministers appointed by the Queen with the approval of the Parliament, including the Lord Advocateand the Solicitor General for Scotland.
The Act sets out the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. Rather than listing the matters over which the Scottish Parliament does control (devolved powers), it specifies the matters over which it does not (reserved matters). [Schedule 5.] It further designates a list of statutes which are not amenable to amendment or repeal by the Parliament [Schedule 4] which includes the
Human Rights Act 1998and many provisions of the Scotland Act itself. Even when acting within its legislative competence, the Act further constrains the powers of the Parliament by inhibiting it from acting in a manner incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights or European Communitylaw. [Section 29(2)(d).] The same constraints apply to acts of the Scottish Executive. [Section 57(2).]
The Act also sets up mechanisms to resolve disputes over questions about legislative competence of the Parliament and powers of the Executive. The ultimate appeal in such matters lies to the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council[ Sections 32, 33, 103, and Schedule 6 ] . It also allows the powers of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive to be adjusted over time by agreement between both Parliaments by means of an Order in Council[ Sections 30 and 63. ] .
The Act was passed on
November 17, 1998[ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo981117/text/81117-20.htm#81117-20_head0 Final debate in House of Lords] ] , and received royal assenttwo days later on November 19[ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmhansrd/vo981119/debtext/81119-05.htm#81119-05_head1 Royal Assent signified] ] . The first elections were held in May 1999 and the Scottish Parliament and Executive assumed their full powers on 1 July 1999.
The Act was amended by the
Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004to end the link between the number of MPs at Westminster and the number of constituency MSPs.
* [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980046.htm Text of the Act (Office of Public Sector Information site)]
* [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/scotact.htm Associated delegated legislation (Office of Public Sector Information site)]
* [http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/ Scottish Parliament site]
* [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/ Scottish Government site]
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