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Scottish_parliamentSurfing around the Scottish Parliament website (which is an ineffably cool thing to do) one learns rather interesting things about how that legislature works. Of particular interest is the Private Bill:

"A Private Bill is introduced by a promoter (who may be an individual, a company or a group of people), for the purpose of obtaining particular powers or benefits in addition to, or in conflict with, the general law. Private Bills generally relate to development projects (e.g. construction of a railway), land, property, or status.

A Bill is introduced by being lodged with the clerks of the Parliament. The promoter must also lodge accompanying documents explaining the background to the Bill and its purposes.

A copy of the Bill and accompanying documents will be available for inspection in each of the Parliament’s partner libraries in the area affected by the proposed Bill and, where possible, on the Parliament’s website.

The promoter must individually notify anyone considered to be directly affected by the Bill of the Bill’s purposes, its date of introduction, and where to seek further information. They must also place a notice in two newspapers which circulate in the area concerned."

Five MSPs are appointed to a Private Bill Committee to consider the Bill. Anyone can object to the Bill.

The most interesting revelation in the quotation above is that Private Bills do not have to relate to development projects. Whatever the original intended purpose of Private Bills, is there scope for enterprising individuals to draft more far-reaching legislation for the Scottish Parliament to consider?

Would any lawyers / experts care to shed some light on this?

6 comments for: Power to the Scottish people?

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