Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill
The Bill at different stages
'Bills' are proposed laws. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) discuss them to decide if they should become law.
Here are the different versions of the Bill:
The Bill as introduced
The Scottish Government sends the Bill and the related documents to the Scottish Parliament.
Where do laws come from?
The Scottish Parliament can make decisions about many things like:
- agriculture and fisheries
- education and training
- health and social services
- justice and policing
- local government
- some aspects of tax and social security
These are 'devolved matters'.
Laws that are decided by the Scottish Parliament come from:
These are Bills that have been introduced by the Scottish Government. They are sometimes called 'Executive Bills'.
Most of the laws that the Scottish Parliament looks at are Government Bills.
These Bills are suggested by the Scottish Government.
As well as having an impact on a general law, they could also have an impact on organisations' or the public's private interests.
The first Hybrid Bill was the Forth Crossing Bill.
These are Bills suggested by MSPs. Every MSP can try to get 2 laws passed in the time between elections. This 5-year period is called a 'parliamentary session'.
To do this, they need other MSPs from different political parties to support their Bills.
These are Bills suggested by a group of MSPs called a committee.
These are Public Bills because they will change general law.
These are Bills suggested by a person, group or company. They usually:
- add to an existing law
- change an existing law
A committee would be created to work on a Private Bill.
The Scottish Government sends the Bill and related documents to the Parliament.
Related information from the Scottish Government on the Bill
Why the Bill is being proposed (Policy Memorandum)
Explanation of the Bill (Explanatory Notes)
How much the Bill is likely to cost (Financial Memorandum)
Opinions on whether the Parliament has the power to make the law (Statements on Legislative Competence)
Information on the powers the Bill gives the Scottish Government and others (Delegated Powers Memorandum)
Stage 1 - General principles
Committees examine the Bill. Then MSPs vote on whether it should continue to Stage 2.
Who examined the Bill
Each Bill is examined by a 'lead committee'. This is the committee that has the subject of the Bill in its remit.
It looks at everything to do with the Bill.
Other committees may look at certain parts of the Bill if it covers subjects they deal with.
What is secondary legislation?
Secondary legislation is sometimes called 'subordinate' or 'delegated' legislation. It can be used to:
- bring a section or sections of a law that’s already been passed, into force
- give details of how a law will be applied
- make changes to the law without a new Act having to be passed
An Act is a Bill that’s been approved by Parliament and given Royal Assent (formally approved).
Delegated Powers and Law Reform committee
This committee looks at the powers of this Bill to allow the Scottish Government or others to create 'secondary legislation' or regulations.
Read the Stage 1 report by the Delegated Powers and Law Reform committee published on 4 February 2020.
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