Code of Conduct for MSPs

Introduction

1. The Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament (“the Code of Conduct” or “the Code”) sets out the standards of conduct for members of the Scottish Parliament in relation to their Parliamentary duties as an MSP.

2. The Code of Conduct is enforceable. In other words, every MSP is required to understand and comply with its rules. A breach of the Code could lead to sanctions being imposed on a MSP.

3. There are some activities which are not covered by the Code. The Code does not cover—

  • Members’ private and family life
  • Members expressing their political views (in their capacity as a member of a political party or organisation)
  • Members who are Ministers, when acting as Ministers of the Scottish Government and carrying out functions of the Scottish Government covered by the Ministerial Code

4. If a member is uncertain about how the rules apply, they can ask the Standards Clerks for advice. Members may also choose to consult their own legal advisers. On detailed financial and commercial matters, they may wish to seek advice from other relevant professionals.

5. The Code of Conduct is accompanied by guidance. This additional material does not form part of the Code and is not enforceable.