Chapter 9A: Private Bill Procedures

Rule 9A.1 Private Bills

1. A Private Bill is a Bill introduced for the purpose of obtaining for an individual person, body corporate or unincorporated association of persons (“the promoter”) particular powers or benefits in excess of or in conflict with the general law, and includes a bill relating to the estate, property, status or style, or otherwise relating to the personal affairs, of the promoter.

1A. A Private Bill to which this paragraph applies is a Private Bill which seeks to authorise the construction or alteration of such classes of works as may be determined by the Presiding Officer or a Private Bill which seeks to authorise the compulsory acquisition or use of any land or buildings.

1B. The Clerk shall arrange for all determinations made by the Presiding Officer or the Parliamentary corporation under this Chapter to be published and notified to the Parliament.

2. A Private Bill may be introduced on a sitting day.

3. A Private Bill shall be introduced by the promoter by being lodged with the Clerk.

4. A Private Bill may not be introduced unless it is in proper form. The Presiding Officer shall determine the proper form of Private Bills.

4A. A Private Bill to which paragraph 1A applies may not be introduced unless the promoter has carried out the consultation referred to in paragraph 4B.

4B. The Presiding Officer may determine such consultation, of such mandatory consultees, as is to be carried out under paragraph 4A. 

5. A Private Bill must, before introduction, be signed by or on behalf of the promoter.

6. The Clerk shall ensure that notice of the introduction of a Private Bill in the Parliament is published in the Business Bulletin. Such notice shall set out the short and long titles of the Private Bill and the name of the promoter and shall indicate that it is a Private Bill.

7. No Private Bill may be introduced in the Parliament if it contains any provision which would have the effect of authorising sums to be paid out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund (as opposed to a provision which charges expenditure on that Fund).

8. A Private Bill may be introduced only if it is accompanied by such fee for introduction as the Parliamentary corporation may determine.

Rule 9A.2 Accompanying documents

1. The documents which must accompany a Private Bill under this Rule are referred to as its “accompanying documents”. The Presiding Officer may determine the proper form of any accompanying document.

2. A Private Bill shall on introduction be accompanied by a written statement signed by the Presiding Officer which shall—

(a) indicate whether or not in the Presiding Officer’s view the provisions of the Private Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Parliament; and

(b) if in the Presiding Officer’s view any of the provisions would not be within legislative competence, indicate which those provisions are and the reasons for that view.

3. A Private Bill shall on introduction be accompanied by—

(za) a written statement signed by the promoter which states that in the promoter’s view the provisions of the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Parliament;

(a) Explanatory Notes which summarise objectively what each of the provisions of the Private Bill does (to the extent that it requires explanation or comment) and give other information necessary or expedient to explain the effect of the Private Bill;

(b) a Promoter’s Memorandum which sets out—

(i) the objectives of the Private Bill;

(ii) whether alternative ways of meeting those objectives were considered and, if so, why the approach taken in the Private Bill was adopted; and

(iii) the consultation which was undertaken on those objectives and the ways of meeting them and on the detail of the Private Bill together with a summary of the outcome of that consultation (including, in the case of a Private Bill to which Rule 9A.1.1A refers, the consultation carried out in accordance with Rule 9A.1.4A);

(c) in the case of a Private Bill to which Rule 9A.1.1A applies—

(i) an Estimate of Expense and Funding Statement setting out the estimated total cost of the project proposed by the Private Bill and anticipated sources of funding to meet the cost of the project and such other financial details as the Presiding Officer may determine or, if any of the information is not included, details of and reasons for the omission or omissions;

(ii) such maps, plans, sections and books of references as the Presiding Officer may determine and if the promoter is unable to produce any of these documents, a written statement giving details of and reasons for the omission or omissions; and

(iii) an Environmental Statement setting out such information on the anticipated environmental impact of the Bill as would (if it applied to the Private Bill) be required by such environmental legislation as the Presiding Officer may determine;

(d) a Promoter’s Statement which sets out—

(i) in the case of a Private Bill which contains provision which will affect heritable property, details of the notification of the proposed Private Bill given by the promoter to such persons or classes of person having an interest in heritable property affected by the Private Bill as the Presiding Officer may determine;

(ii) in the case of a Private Bill where the promoter is a body corporate or an unincorporated association of persons, such details as the Presiding Officer may determine of the notification of the proposed Private Bill given by the promoter to and the consent to the proposed Private Bill obtained by the promoter from members of that body corporate or unincorporated association of persons and such other persons or classes of person as the Presiding Officer may determine;

(iii) in the case of a Private Bill which contains provision to confer powers upon or modify the constitution of any body corporate or unincorporated association of persons named in the Private Bill but not being the promoter, such details as the Presiding Officer may determine of the notification of the proposed Private Bill given by the promoter to and the consent to that provision obtained by the promoter from that body corporate or unincorporated association of persons;

(iv) details of the advertisement of the promoter’s intention to introduce the Private Bill in accordance with the determination of the Presiding Officer;

(v) a statement listing the premises where any accompanying documents which are not printed and published by the Clerk under Rule 9A.4.1 and other documents which are relevant to the Private Bill but are not accompanying documents may be inspected or purchased, together with an undertaking to send a copy of those accompanying documents and other documents to the premises to which the Private Bill and accompanying documents are sent by the Clerk under Rule 9A.4.2 and (in the case of a Bill to which Rule 9A.1.1A applies) to the mandatory consultees;

(vi) an undertaking to pay any costs that may be incurred by the Parliamentary corporation during the passage of the Private Bill in respect of such matters as the Parliamentary corporation may determine;

(vii) an agreement under which the promoter assigns to the Parliamentary corporation copyright in: the promoter’s statement on legislative competence, the Explanatory Notes, the Promoter’s Memorandum and the Promoter’s Statement; and

(viii) an agreement under which the promoter licenses the Parliamentary corporation to use or reproduce as may be required for the Parliament’s purposes any Estimate of Expense and Funding Statement, plans, maps, sections, books of references and Environmental Statement, or any other document submitted to the Clerk by the promoter on introduction or subsequently

(e) [deleted].

Rule 9A.3 [deleted]

Rule 9A.4 Printing and publishing of Private Bills and accompanying documents

1. As soon as a Private Bill has been introduced the Clerk shall arrange for the printing and publishing of the Bill and the accompanying documents referred to in Rules 9A.2.2 and 9A.2.3, other than those documents which are required only for a Private Bill to which Rule 9A.1.1A applies.

2. The Clerk shall send a copy of the Private Bill and the accompanying documents published in accordance with paragraph 1 to such premises as the Presiding Officer may determine and, in the case of a Bill to which Rule 9A.1.1A applies, to the mandatory consultees referred to in Rule 9A.1.4B.

Rule 9A.5 Private Bill Committees

1. After a Private Bill has been introduced, the Parliament shall, on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau under Rule 6.1.3, establish a committee to consider the Private Bill (“a Private Bill Committee”).

2. A Private Bill Committee shall have at least 3 but not more than 5 members.

3. A member may not be appointed as a member of a Private Bill Committee if—

(a) that member’s principal place of residence is within an area in which works are proposed to be authorised by or under the Private Bill;

(b) any land or buildings owned by the member, or in which the member has any other right or interest, is proposed to be subject to compulsory acquisition or use by or under the Private Bill;

(c) the area in which works are proposed to be authorised by or under the Private Bill falls in whole or in part within the constituency or region which that member represents;

(d) that member represents a constituency or region which, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Bureau, is particularly affected by the works proposed to be authorised by or under the Private Bill;

(e) that member has a financial interest that, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Bureau, directly relates to the promoter or to the subject-matter of the Private Bill; or

(f) that member has any interest registered in the Register of Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament (“the Register”) which, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Bureau, would or would be likely to prejudice the ability of the member to participate in proceedings of the Private Bill Committee in an impartial manner.

4. For the purposes of paragraph 3(e), any member whose name is proposed to the Parliamentary Bureau as a prospective member of a Private Bill Committee shall bring to the attention of the Bureau any financial interest held by the member in relation to the promoter or in the subject-matter of the Private Bill which is not registered in the Register.

4A. Each member of a Private Bill Committee shall, at the first meeting that member attends, declare to act impartially, in that member’s capacity as a member of the Committee, and to base decisions solely on the evidence and information provided to the Committee.

4B. A Private Bill committee shall not normally meet or continue to meet at a time when a meeting of the Parliament is in progress (within the meaning of Rule 12.3.3A), but may do so if—

(a) it is necessary for it to do so at that time;

(b) where reasonably practicable, the prior approval of the Bureau has been obtained; and

(c) the business being considered at the meeting of the Parliament is business other than Stage 3, Final Stage or Reconsideration Stage of a Bill.

4C. A Private Bill Committee may not meet or continue to meet when Stage 2 of a Public Bill is being taken at a Committee of the Whole Parliament.

5. Members of a Private Bill Committee shall normally attend all meetings of the Private Bill Committee and may be absent from a meeting in exceptional circumstances only.

6. At Consideration Stage, a member of a Private Bill Committee may not participate in any consideration of the merits of an objection or in any further proceedings relevant to that objection unless—

(a) all evidence directly relevant to that objection given orally during proceedings of the Committee at Consideration Stage has been given in the presence of the member; or

(b) with the agreement of—

(i) the persons who gave any such evidence in the absence of the member; and

(ii) the promoter,

the member has viewed a recording or read the Official Report of the proceedings of the Committee at which that evidence was given.

7. Where the number of members of the Private Bill Committee falls below 2, the Parliament shall, on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau under Rule 6.1.3, establish another Private Bill Committee.

8. Where a Private Bill Committee is established under paragraph 7 and at the date of establishment the Stage that the Private Bill was at had not been completed, the proceedings on the Private Bill shall recommence at the beginning of that Stage except in the circumstances set out in paragraph 9.

9. The proceedings may commence at a later point in the Stage if—

(a) to the extent that the earlier proceedings at that Stage involved the consideration by the Private Bill Committee of evidence given orally, each person who had given such evidence either—

(i) gives that evidence orally to the committee established under paragraph 7 (“the new Committee”); or

(ii) agrees that the members of the new Committee may instead view a recording or read the Official Report of the proceedings of the Committee at which that evidence was given; and

(b) to any other extent, the persons referred to in Rule 9A.9.3 agree.

10. Where an assessor is appointed (under Rule 9A.9.1B) and the number of members of the Private Bill Committee falls below 2 before the assessor has reported, the assessor’s report shall be considered by the Private Bill Committee established under paragraph 7.

Rule 9A.6 Objections

1. An individual person who, or a body corporate or unincorporated association of persons which, considers that the interests of that individual, body corporate or unincorporated association of persons would be adversely affected by a Private Bill introduced in the Parliament (an “objector”) may lodge an objection to the Private Bill during the objection period.

2. In these Rules, “the objection period” is the period commencing at the beginning of the day after the date of introduction of the Private Bill and ending at 17:00 on the sixtieth day after the date of introduction or, where the sixtieth day falls on a day when the office of the Clerk is closed, at 17:00 on the first day after that sixtieth day on which the office of the Clerk is open. In calculating the objection period no account shall be taken of any time when the office of the Clerk is closed for more than 4 days or, if the Parliament is dissolved during the objection period, of any period beginning on the day of dissolution and ending on the date of introduction of a Private Bill under Rule 9A.7.6.

3. An objection may be lodged by its—

(a) being lodged with the Clerk in writing by the objector; or

(b) being sent by e-mail from the objector’s e-mail address and, not later than 7 days after being sent by e-mail, the objector lodging a copy in writing with the Clerk.

4. The Presiding Officer shall determine the proper form of objections.

5. An objection is admissible only if it—

(a) is in proper form;

(b) sets out the nature of the objection;

(c) explains whether the objection lies against the whole Private Bill or specified provisions;

(d) specifies how the objector’s interests would be adversely affected by the Private Bill; and

(e) is accompanied by any fee for lodging objections that may be determined by the Parliamentary corporation.

6. The Clerk shall notify the objector whether an objection which has been lodged is admissible.

7. After the objection period has expired, the Clerk shall publish in the Business Bulletin a list of the names of all objectors who have lodged admissible objections during that period.

7A. Where an objector lodges an objection after the expiry of the objection period but before the first meeting of the Private Bill Committee at Consideration Stage and the objection is accompanied by a statement by the objector explaining the delay in lodging the objection, the Private Bill Committee shall consider the statement and decide whether it is satisfied that—

(a) the objector had good reason for not lodging the objection within the objection period;

(b) the objector has lodged the objection as soon as reasonably practicable after the expiry of that period; and

(c) consideration of such an objection would not be unreasonable having regard to the rights and interests of objectors and the promoter.

7B. If the Committee is so satisfied—

(a) the Clerk shall publish in the Business Bulletin the name of the objector; and

(b) the Committee shall give preliminary consideration to the objection.

8. An objection may be withdrawn by the objector.

Rule 9A.6A Statements in relation to consultation

1. Any of the mandatory consultees referred to in Rule 9A.1.4B may, during the objection period, lodge a statement in relation to the consultation undertaken by the promoter. Such a statement shall not be treated as an objection under Rule 9A.6.

Rule 9A.7 Stages of Private Bills

1. The procedure for a Private Bill introduced in the Parliament shall be—

(a) consideration of the general principles of the Bill and whether it should proceed as a Private Bill, preliminary consideration of objections and a decision whether to agree to those general principles and whether the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill (Preliminary Stage);

(b) consideration of the details of the Private Bill (Consideration Stage); and

(c) final consideration of the Private Bill and a decision whether to pass or reject it (Final Stage).

2.  A Private Bill which has been passed by the Parliament may additionally be subject to reconsideration at a further stage in the circumstances described in Rule 9A.11 (Reconsideration of Private Bills passed).

2A.  A Private Bill which has been rejected by the Parliament may be subject to reconsideration at a further stage in the circumstances described in Rule 9A.11.ZA (Reconsideration of Private Bills rejected).

3. The business programme shall set out the time or times at which each Stage or any part of any Stage of a Private Bill is to be taken at a meeting of the Parliament. In the case of a Stage to be taken in whole or in part by the Private Bill Committee, notice that the Stage or part of the Stage is to be taken shall be given in the agenda for the relevant committee meeting. In considering its proposals on the business programme the Parliamentary Bureau shall consult the Private Bill Committee as to the time or times which it considers appropriate for the Private Bill. 

3A. The minimum period that must elapse between the day on which Consideration Stage is completed and the day on which Final Stage starts is—

(a) 14 sitting days if the Bill is amended at Consideration Stage;

(b) 9 sitting days if the Bill is not amended at Consideration Stage.

3B. Where part of a Private Bill is referred back to a Private Bill Committee under Rule 9A.10.6 (for further Consideration Stage consideration) a minimum period of 9 sitting days must elapse between—

(a) the day on which the Final Stage proceedings are adjourned and the day on which further Consideration Stage proceedings on amendments start;

(b) the day on which Consideration Stage proceedings are completed and the day on which Final Stage proceedings resume (but only if the Bill is amended at those further Consideration Stage proceedings).

4.  Subject to Rule 9A.11.ZA, if a Private Bill falls or is rejected by the Parliament, no further proceedings may be taken on the Private Bill and a Private Bill in the same or similar terms may not be introduced in the same session of the Parliament within the period of 6 months from the date on which the Private Bill fell or was rejected.

5.  A Private Bill introduced in any session of the Parliament falls if a decision whether or not to pass it has not been taken by the Parliament before the end of that session (“the first session”).

6. Where a Private Bill falls under paragraph 5, the promoter may introduce a Private Bill in the same terms in the next session of the Parliament (“the second session”). If, when the Private Bill fell, the Clerk had printed and published the Private Bill at the end of Consideration Stage, the Private Bill which is introduced under this paragraph shall be in those terms.

7. No fee shall be required to be paid under Rule 9A.1.8 on the introduction of a Private Bill under paragraph 6. A Private Bill introduced under paragraph 6 does not require to be accompanied on introduction by the accompanying documents referred to in Rule 9A.2.3 (a) to (d). The accompanying documents referred to in Rule 9A.2.3 (a) to (d) and any supplementary accompanying documents which accompanied the Bill in the first session shall be used for the purposes of the Bill in the second session. Rule 9A.4 shall apply to the Bill introduced in the second session with appropriate modifications.

8. Any objections lodged during the first session shall be treated as objections to the Private Bill introduced in the second session and any decision of the Private Bill Committee taken during the first session in respect of those objections under Rule 9A.8.2 shall apply. There shall be no further objection period under Rule 9A.6.2 for the Private Bill introduced in the second session in addition to the objection period that began with the introduction of the Private Bill in the first session.

9. A promoter may only introduce a Private Bill under paragraph 6 during the period commencing with the date of the first meeting of the Parliament and ending on the thirtieth day after that date.

10. Where, at the date of dissolution the Stage that the Private Bill was at had not been completed, the proceedings on the Private Bill introduced in the second session shall commence at the beginning of that Stage, except in the circumstances set out in paragraph 11.

11. The proceedings may commence at a later point in the Stage if—

(a) to the extent that the earlier proceedings at that Stage involved the consideration by the Private Bill Committee established in the first session of evidence given orally, each person who had given such evidence either—

(i) gives that evidence orally to the Private Bill Committee established in the second session (“the new Committee”); or

(ii) agrees that the members of the new Committee may instead view a recording or read the Official Report of the proceedings of the Committee at which that evidence was given; and

(b) to any other extent, the persons referred to in Rule 9A.9.3 agree.

12. Where an assessor is appointed (under Rule 9A.9.1B) and the Parliament is dissolved before the assessor has reported, the assessor’s report shall be considered by the Private Bill Committee established in the second session.

Rule 9A.8 Preliminary Stage

1. Once a Private Bill has been printed and a Private Bill Committee has been established under Rule 9A.5, that Committee shall take Preliminary Stage of the Bill.

2. At Preliminary Stage, the Private Bill Committee shall consider and report on the general principles of the Private Bill and whether the Private Bill should proceed as a Private Bill. The Private Bill Committee shall also give preliminary consideration to the objections, if any, and shall reject any objection where the objector’s interests are, in the opinion of the Committee, not clearly adversely affected by the Private Bill.

2A. Where a Private Bill Committee established to consider a Private Bill to which Rule 9A.1.1A applies considers it appropriate, it may during Preliminary Stage direct the Parliamentary corporation, subject to the Bill proceeding to Consideration Stage, to appoint an assessor to perform at Consideration Stage the functions set out in sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) below, or the functions set out in sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) only, namely—

(a) to consider the admissible objections not rejected under Rule 9A.8.2 or Rule 9A.9.1A, and report with recommendations as to—

(i) which objections are the same or similar and so should be grouped under Rule 9A.9.4; 

(ii) which objectors should be chosen to give evidence in relation to the objections so grouped; and 

(iii) whether the invitations to give evidence (under Rule 9A.9.2) should be invitations to give evidence orally or in writing (or both);

(b) to consider the evidence given to the assessor and report with such recommendations on the basis of that evidence as the assessor considers appropriate;

(c) to undertake any tasks which the assessor is directed by the Private Bill Committee to carry out under Rule 9A.9.7.

3. In considering whether the Private Bill should proceed as a Private Bill, the Private Bill Committee shall consider whether the Private Bill is in accordance with Rule 9A.1.1 and whether the accompanying documents lodged in accordance with Rule 9A.2.3 and the details set out therein, in the opinion of the Committee, satisfy the requirements of that Rule and are adequate to allow proper scrutiny of the Private Bill.

4. If the Committee decides that the accompanying documents lodged in accordance with Rule 9A.2.3 and the details set out therein do not satisfy the requirements of that Rule and are not adequate to allow proper scrutiny of the Private Bill, it may allow the promoter such reasonable period as the Committee considers appropriate to provide such further documents as, in the opinion of the Committee, should be provided. Any further documents provided under this paragraph are referred to as “supplementary accompanying documents”.

5. A supplementary accompanying document shall be in the same form as would have been required had it been an accompanying document.

6. The Clerk shall arrange for any supplementary accompanying document, except any of the documents referred to in Rule 9A.2.3(c)(ii) and (iii) and (e), to be printed and published. The Clerk shall send a copy of any supplementary accompanying document published in accordance with this paragraph to the premises to which the document would have been sent under Rule 9A.4.2 if the document had been provided as an accompanying document.

7. Only members of the Parliament who are members of the Private Bill Committee shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the Private Bill Committee at Preliminary Stage.

8. Once the Private Bill Committee has reported on the Private Bill, the Parliament shall decide in the light of the Committee’s report, on a motion of the Convener of the Private Bill Committee, whether to agree to those general principles and whether the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill.

9. Any member may by motion propose that the Private Bill be referred back to the Private Bill Committee for a further report on the general principles of the Private Bill or whether the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill before the Parliament decides whether to agree to the general principles and whether the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill. If the motion is agreed to, consideration of the Bill’s general principles and whether the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill is adjourned to a time to be determined by the Parliamentary Bureau. The Parliamentary Bureau shall refer the Private Bill back to the Private Bill Committee which shall prepare a further report in accordance with the Parliament’s decision.

10. If the Parliament agrees to the Private Bill’s general principles and that the Private Bill should proceed as a Private Bill, the Private Bill proceeds to Consideration Stage. If the Parliament does not agree to the Private Bill’s general principles or does not agree that the Private Bill should proceed as a Private Bill, the Private Bill falls.

Rule 9A.9 Consideration Stage

1. The Private Bill Committee shall take Consideration Stage of the Bill.

1A. The Private Bill Committee may at Consideration Stage give preliminary consideration to an objection to which Rule 9A.6.7A applies if it was not reasonably practicable to give such consideration at Preliminary Stage.

1AA. Paragraphs 1B to 4B apply only where there are one or more admissible objections which have not been rejected at Preliminary Stage or following preliminary consideration under paragraph 1A.

1B. Where a direction under Rule 9A.8.2A was made at Preliminary Stage, the Parliamentary corporation shall, at Consideration Stage, appoint as assessor such person as it considers suitably qualified, subject to such terms and conditions as it considers appropriate.

2. The Private Bill Committee shall invite those persons mentioned in paragraph 3, and may invite other persons, to give evidence; and any such invitation may be to give evidence orally or in writing (or both). Where an assessor has been appointed in accordance with paragraph 1B, any such invitation shall be an invitation to give evidence to that assessor.

3. The persons referred to in paragraph 2 are—

(a) the promoter;

(b) any objector chosen under paragraph 4 to give evidence in relation to the objections grouped under that paragraph; and

(c) any objector whose objection has not been grouped with another objector under paragraph 4 (except where it appears to the Committee that the objector’s interests are no longer adversely affected by the Private Bill).

4. Where the Private Bill Committee considers (whether or not on the basis of a recommendation by an assessor) that two or more objections are the same or similar, it may group those objections together and choose one or more objectors from that group to give evidence in relation to those objections.

4A The Private Bill Committee shall consider the merits of the objections in the light of—

(a) any evidence given to it; or

(b) any report prepared by an assessor appointed in accordance with Rule 9A.9.1B.

4B. The Private Bill Committee may accept or reject—

(a) the whole or any part of any objection;

(b) the whole or any part of an assessor’s report,

and may take such other steps as the Committee thinks fit (which may include referring further matters to an assessor for consideration and report or itself taking further evidence).

5. At Consideration Stage, each section and schedule and the long title of the Private Bill shall be considered separately and the Private Bill Committee shall decide whether to agree to them. The question whether a section or schedule or the long title be agreed to shall be put by the convener without the need for any member to move a motion to that effect. Sections or schedules to which no amendments are proposed and which fall to be considered consecutively may be taken and agreed to together.

6. The Private Bill Committee shall decide the order in which the sections and schedules of the Private Bill are to be considered at Consideration Stage. If it does not decide, the sections shall be taken in the order in which they arise in the Private Bill, with each schedule taken immediately after the section which introduces it. The long title shall be taken last.

7. A Private Bill may be amended at Consideration Stage. Notice of an amendment may be given by any member of the Private Bill Committee not earlier than—

(a) where the merits of objections are considered by the Committee under paragraph 4A, the completion of that consideration;

(b) where sub-paragraph (a) does not apply, but there has been preliminary consideration of objections under paragraph 1A, the completion of that preliminary consideration;

(c) in any other case, the completion of Preliminary Stage.

7A. There must be at least 5 sitting days between the day on which notice of an amendment may first be given under paragraph 7 and the day on which the consideration referred to in paragraphs 7B and 7C is to begin.

7B. Following the end of the period for lodging amendments under Rule 9A.12.2, the Private Bill Committee shall consider whether, in its view, any of the amendments lodged adversely affect private interests. 

7C. Where the Committee decides that any amendments adversely affect private interests, it shall consider whether, in its view, any of those amendments have sufficient merit that there is a possibility of their being agreed to after further scrutiny.

7D. Where the Committee decides that an amendment which adversely affects private interests does not have the merit described in paragraph 7C, that amendment may not be moved. 

7E. Where the Committee decides that any amendments which adversely affect private interests have the merit described in paragraph 7C, no amendments (whether or not affecting private interests) may be moved unless the tasks listed in paragraph 7H have been completed in relation to each amendment having such merit. 

7F. In the case of an amendment that has been or is to be lodged on behalf of the promoter, the promoter shall be responsible for performing the task described in paragraph 7H(a). 

7G. Subject to paragraph 7F, the Committee may direct any assessor appointed under Rule 9A.9.1B to perform any or all of the tasks listed in paragraph 7H, or it may perform any or all of these tasks itself. Where any of these tasks is to be carried out by the promoter or an assessor, the Committee may, to the extent that it considers appropriate, specify the manner in which it is to be performed, including by specifying the persons (or classes of person) to be notified under paragraph 7H(a) and the duration of any period for lodging objections.

7H. The tasks are—

(a)  notifying the holders of private interests adversely affected by the amendment of its terms and implications and of how they may lodge an objection to it;

(b)  where admissible objections are lodged, taking evidence from objectors and from the promoter; 

(c) where such evidence is taken, considering that evidence and reaching conclusions (or, in the case of an assessor, reporting to the Committee with recommendations).

7J. Paragraphs 3 to 6, 7A and 8 of Rule 9A.6, and paragraphs 2 to 4B of Rule 9A.9, apply to objections to amendments as they apply to objections to Private Bills, subject to the modifications contained in paragraphs 7K to 7N.

7K. In Rule 9A.6.5—

(a)  sub-paragraph (c) is omitted;

(b)  in sub-paragraph (d), for “Private Bill” there is substituted “amendment”.

7L. In Rule 9A.6.7A—

(a)  “the objection period” means the period for lodging objections to amendments adversely affecting private interests;

(b)  before “at Consideration Stage” there is inserted “to consider amendments”.

7M. In Rule 9A.9.2, the final sentence is omitted.

7N. In Rule 9A.9.3(c), for “Private Bill” there is substituted “amendment”.

8. At Consideration Stage, amendments to any section or schedule or to the long title shall be disposed of before the Private Bill Committee considers whether to agree to the provision in question. Where no amendments are proposed to a section, a schedule or the long title, the Private Bill Committee shall proceed immediately to decide the question whether that provision be agreed to. If an amendment to leave out a section or schedule is disagreed to, that section or schedule shall be treated as agreed to.

9. Only members of the Parliament who are members of the Private Bill Committee shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the Private Bill Committee at Consideration Stage.

10. At the end of Consideration Stage, the Clerk shall, if the Private Bill has been amended, arrange for the Private Bill as amended to be printed and published.

Rule 9A.10 Final Stage

1. Final Stage of a Private Bill shall be taken at a meeting of the Parliament.

2. At Final Stage, the Parliament shall decide, on a motion of the Convener of the Private Bill Committee (“the Final Stage motion”), whether the Private Bill be passed.

3. A Private Bill may be amended at Final Stage. Notice of an amendment may be given by any member after completion of Consideration Stage.

4. The Presiding Officer may select, as the Presiding Officer sees fit, those amendments which are to be taken at Final Stage from amongst the admissible amendments of which notice has been given.

5.  Unless the Parliament has decided, on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau, the order in which amendments are to be disposed of, they shall be disposed of in the order in which the sections and schedules to which they relate arise in the Private Bill. Amendments to the long title shall be taken last. 

5A.  After any amendments have been disposed of, the Presiding Officer shall state whether or not in his or her view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter within the meaning of section 31(4). This statement may be made orally or in writing, and if made in writing shall be published by the Clerk.

5B.  Immediately after the Presiding Officer has made the statement, the Convener of the Private Bill Committee may by motion without notice propose that the remaining proceedings at Final Stage be adjourned to a later day. Such a motion may not be debated or amended. If the motion is agreed to, the Convener of the Private Bill Committee may give notice of amendments to the Private Bill to be moved at the adjourned proceedings. Such amendments are only admissible if, in addition to the criteria in Rule 9A.12.5, they are for the purpose of clarifying uncertainties or giving effect to commitments given on behalf of the promoter at the earlier proceedings at Final Stage. After any amendments have been disposed of, the Presiding Officer shall state whether or not in his or her view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter within the meaning of section 31(4). This statement may be made orally or in writing, and if made in writing shall be published by the Clerk. If the motion is not agreed to, the Parliament shall proceed immediately to debate the Final Stage motion.

6.  At the beginning of the debate on the Final Stage motion, the Convener of the Private Bill Committee may by motion propose that such part of the Private Bill as may be specified in the motion be referred back to the Private Bill Committee for further Consideration Stage consideration. If the motion is agreed to, the proceedings are adjourned to a time to be determined by the Parliamentary Bureau which shall refer the Private Bill to the Private Bill Committee. When Final Stage proceedings resume, the Private Bill may be amended, but amendments are only admissible if they are to the provisions which were referred back to the Private Bill Committee or if they are necessary in consequence of any amendment made at the further Consideration Stage proceedings.

7.  This Rule, apart from paragraph 6, shall apply to the resumed Final Stage proceedings as it applies to the initial Final Stage proceedings.

8.  The question on the Final Stage motion must be decided by division.

9.  The result of such a division is valid only if the number of members who voted (whether for the motion, against it, or to abstain) is more than one quarter of the total number of seats for members of the Parliament. If the result is not valid the Private Bill shall be treated as rejected.

10.  Where the Presiding Officer has made a statement that in his or her view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter, the Private Bill is passed only if a super-majority is achieved and is otherwise treated as rejected.

11.  If the Presiding Officer has made more than one statement as to whether or not in his or her view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter, only the most recent statement is to be used in applying paragraph 10.

Rule 9A.11 Reconsideration of Private Bills passed

1. Any member may, after the Private Bill is passed, by motion propose that the Parliament resolve that it wishes to reconsider the Private Bill if—

(a) a question in relation to the Private Bill has been referred to the Supreme Court under section 33;

(b) a reference for a preliminary ruling (within the meaning of section 34(3)) has been made by the Supreme Court in connection with that reference; and

(c) neither of those references has been decided or otherwise disposed of.

2.  Any member may by motion propose that the Parliament resolve to reconsider the Private Bill if—

(a)  the Supreme Court decides that the Private Bill or any provision of it would not be within the legislative competence of the Parliament; 

(b)  an order is made in relation to the Private Bill under section 35 (order prohibiting Presiding Officer from submitting Private Bill for Royal Assent); or

(c)  the Supreme Court decides on a reference made in relation to the Private Bill under section 32A(2)(b) that any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter.

3.  Proceedings on reconsideration shall be taken at a meeting of the Parliament.

4.  A Private Bill may be amended on reconsideration of the Private Bill but only for the purpose of resolving the problem which is the subject of the reference for a preliminary ruling or which is the subject of the decision of the Supreme Court referred to in paragraph 2(a) or the order under section 35. Unless the Parliament has decided, on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau, the order in which amendments are to be disposed of, they shall be disposed of in the order in which the provisions to which they relate arise in the Private Bill. In the case of a Private Bill referred to in paragraph 2(c) no amendment may be made at Reconsideration Stage.

5.  The Presiding Officer shall state, after any amendments have been disposed of and before the debate on the motion that the Private Bill be approved, whether or not in his or her view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter within the meaning of section 31(4). This statement may be made orally or in writing, and if made in writing shall be published by the Clerk. The Parliament shall then consider and decide by division, on a motion of the Convener of the Private Bill Committee, the question whether to approve the Private Bill. The result of such a division is valid only if the number of members who voted (whether for the motion, against it, or to abstain) is more than one quarter of the total number of seats for members of the Parliament. If the result is not valid the Private Bill shall be treated as rejected. Where the statement is that in the Presiding Officer’s view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter, the Private Bill is not approved unless a super-majority is achieved.

9A.11ZA   Reconsideration of Private Bills rejected

1.  Any member may, after the Private Bill is rejected, by motion propose that the Parliament resolve to reconsider the Private Bill if, following a reference to the Supreme Court under section 32A(2)(a), the Court has decided that no provision that is subject to the reference relates to a protected subject-matter.

2.  Proceedings at Reconsideration Stage shall be taken at a meeting of the Parliament. The Private Bill may not be amended at Reconsideration Stage.

3.  Before the debate on the motion that the Private Bill be approved, the Presiding Officer shall state whether or not in his or her view any provision of the Private Bill relates to a protected subject-matter within the meaning of section 31(4). This statement may be made orally or in writing, and if made in writing shall be published by the Clerk. The Parliament shall then consider and decide by division, on a motion of the Convener of the Private Bill Committee, the question whether to approve the Private Bill. The result of such a division is valid only if the number of members who voted (whether for the motion, against it, or to abstain) is more than one quarter of the total number of seats for members of the Parliament. If the result is not valid the Private Bill shall be treated as rejected.

Rule 9A.11A Change of promoter

1. This Rule applies where the individual who, or body corporate or unincorporated association of persons which, introduced the Private Bill (“the original promoter”) no longer wishes or is no longer able to obtain the powers or benefits referred to in Rule 9A.1.1, and another individual, body corporate or unincorporated association of persons (“the new promoter”) wishes to obtain those powers or benefits.

2. The new promoter shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, lodge with the Clerk a memorandum setting out the reasons for and the circumstances of the change of promoter.

3. The Private Bill Committee shall, taking account of the memorandum lodged under paragraph 2 and any further information from the new promoter that it may require, consider the implications of the change of promoter for the rights and interests of the objectors and for the progress of the Bill.

4. The Committee may, if it considers it appropriate in order to protect the rights or interests of objectors or to ensure the proper scrutiny of the Private Bill—

(a) require the new promoter to lodge supplementary accompanying documents (and Rule 9A.8.6 shall apply to any such document as it applies to a supplementary accompanying document under Rule 9A.8.4);

(b) require the new promoter to give such undertakings as the Private Bill Committee considers appropriate;

(c) require proceedings on the Bill at Preliminary or Consideration Stage, if either Stage was not completed at the time the statement under paragraph 2 was lodged, to begin again;

(d) report to the Parliament on the implications of the change of promoter, with a recommendation that the Bill should not proceed with the new promoter.

5. A report under paragraph 4(d) shall be considered by the Parliament on a motion of the convener of the Committee inviting the Parliament to agree the Committee’s recommendation. If the motion is agreed to, the Bill falls. If the motion is not agreed to, the Private Bill Committee shall continue to consider the Bill.

Rule 9A.12 Amendments to Private Bills

1. Amendments to a Private Bill shall be in such form as the Presiding Officer may determine. 

2. Subject to paragraph 6, where a member intends to move an amendment to a Private Bill at Consideration Stage or Reconsideration Stage, that member shall give notice of the amendment by lodging it with the Clerk no later than 2 sitting days before the day on which consideration of amendments at that Stage is due to start. On the final day on which notice of amendments may be given before Consideration Stage or Reconsideration Stage, notice of amendments must be given by 14:00.

2A.  Subject to paragraph 6, where a member intends to move an amendment to a Bill at Final Stage, that member shall give notice of the amendment by lodging it with the Clerk no later than 8 sitting days before the day on which that Stage is due to start.

3. Notice of an amendment shall set out the text of the amendment, together with the name of the member proposing it. Up to 4 other members may indicate their support for an amendment (other than a manuscript amendment) by notifying the Clerk at any time during the period when notice of that amendment may be given.

4. The convener, or as the case may be, the Presiding Officer, shall determine any dispute as to whether an amendment of which notice has been given is admissible. Notice of admissible amendments shall be published in the Business Bulletin.

5. An amendment is admissible unless—

(a) it is not in proper form;

(b) it is not relevant to the Private Bill or the provisions of the Private Bill which it would amend;

(c) it is inconsistent with the general principles of the Private Bill as agreed by the Parliament; or

(d) it is inconsistent with a decision already taken on an amendment at the Stage at which the amendment is proposed.

6. An amendment of which less notice has been given than is required under paragraph 2 or 2A above is referred to as a “manuscript amendment”. A manuscript amendment may be moved only with the agreement of the convener or, as the case may be, the Presiding Officer. Such agreement shall be given only if the convener or, as the case may be, the Presiding Officer considers it is justified, in the circumstances, taking account of the disadvantages of lack of proper notice.

7. An amendment may be made to an amendment and this Rule shall apply accordingly.

7A. An amendment (other than a manuscript amendment) may be withdrawn by the member who lodged it at any time during the period when notice of that amendment may be given, but only with the unanimous agreement of any members who have indicated their support for the amendment. If such agreement is not obtained, the amendment becomes an amendment in the name of the member who first indicated that member’s support for the amendment and who does not agree to the amendment being withdrawn.

8. Where notice of amendments to a Private Bill has been given, the Clerk shall prepare, for each day of proceedings on the Private Bill at which amendments are to be considered, a marshalled list of the admissible amendments proposed. The list shall set out the amendments so far as not disposed of in the order in which they are to be disposed of as determined by the Clerk. The list shall exclude—

(a)  at Consideration Stage or Reconsideration Stage, amendments which may not be moved by virtue of Rule 9A.9.7D;

(b)  at Final Stage, amendments not selected by the Presiding Officer; and

(c)  at any Stage, manuscript amendments which may not be moved because agreement has been refused under paragraph 6.

The Clerk shall arrange for the marshalled list to be published.

9. An amendment to insert a new section or schedule shall normally specify where it is to be inserted and shall be disposed of accordingly.

10. An amendment to an amendment shall be disposed of before the amendment which it would amend.

11. An amendment at any Stage which would be inconsistent with a decision already taken on an amendment at the same Stage shall not be taken.

12. The convener or, as the case may be, the Presiding Officer may group amendments for the purposes of debate as that person sees fit. The Clerk shall arrange for any groupings to be published. An amendment debated as part of a group may not be debated again when it comes to be disposed of.

13. The member moving an amendment may speak in support of it. Other members may speak on an amendment at the discretion of the convener or, as the case may be, the Presiding Officer.

14. At Consideration Stage, only members of the Private Bill Committee may give notice of, indicate their support for and move amendments.

15. If a member who has given notice of an amendment does not move the amendment when that amendment comes to be disposed of, the amendment may, in the case of an amendment at Final Stage, be moved by any other member present at those proceedings and in the case of an amendment at Consideration Stage, by any other member of the Private Bill Committee present at those proceedings.

16. An amendment may be withdrawn by the member who moved it, but only with the unanimous agreement of the Private Bill Committee or the Parliament, as the case may be.

Rule 9A.13 Crown consent

1. Where a Private Bill contains provisions, or is amended so as to include provisions, which would, if the Private Bill were a Bill for an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, require the consent of Her Majesty, the Prince and Steward of Scotland or the Duke of Cornwall, the Parliament shall not debate any question whether the Private Bill be passed or approved unless such consent to those provisions has been signified by a member of the Scottish Government during proceedings on the Private Bill at a meeting of the Parliament.

Rule 9A.14 Financial Resolutions

1. A resolution under this Rule is referred to as “a Financial Resolution”.

2. The Presiding Officer shall decide in every case whether a resolution is required for a Private Bill under paragraph 3 or 4 of this Rule.

3. Where a Private Bill contains provisions—

(a) which charge expenditure on the Scottish Consolidated Fund, or

(b) the likely effect of which would be to—

(i) increase significantly expenditure charged on that Fund;

(ii) give rise to significant expenditure payable out of that Fund for a new purpose; or

(iii) increase significantly expenditure payable out of that Fund for an existing purpose,
no proceedings may be taken on the Private Bill at any Stage after Preliminary Stage unless the Parliament has by resolution agreed to the expenditure or the increase in expenditure being charged on or, as the case may be, payable out of that Fund.

4. Where—

(a) a Private Bill contains provisions which impose or increase (or confer a power to impose or increase) any charge, or otherwise require (or confer a power to require) any payment to be made; and

(b) the person to whom the charge or payment is payable is required, by or under any enactment, to pay sums received into the Scottish Consolidated Fund (or would be so required but for any provision made by or under an Act of the Scottish Parliament),
no proceedings may be taken on the Private Bill at any Stage after Preliminary Stage unless the Parliament has by resolution agreed to the charge, increase or payment.

5. Paragraph 4—

(a) applies only where the charge, increase in charge or payment is significant; and

(b) does not apply where the charge, increase in charge or payment is—

(i) in respect of the provision of goods and is reasonable in relation to the goods provided; or

(ii) wholly or largely directed to the recovery of the cost of providing any service for which the charge is imposed or the payment requires to be made.

6. Where the effect of an amendment (or amendments) to a Private Bill, if agreed to, would be that the Private Bill would require a resolution under this Rule which it would not otherwise require, no proceedings may be taken on the amendment (or amendments) unless the Parliament has agreed to a motion for such a resolution.

7. Only a member of the Scottish Government or a junior Scottish Minister may give notice of a motion for a Financial Resolution. The motion may be moved only by a member of the Scottish Govenment or junior Scottish Minister, whether or not that person has given notice of it or indicated support for it. Such a motion may not be amended.

8. Unless—

(a) notice of a motion for any resolution required in relation to a Private Bill by paragraph 3 or 4 is given within 6 months of the completion of Preliminary Stage; and

(b) the motion is agreed to,

the Bill falls.

Rule 9A.15 Withdrawal of Private Bills

1. A Private Bill may be withdrawn at any time by the promoter. Where a Private Bill is withdrawn a Private Bill in the same or similar terms may not be introduced by the same promoter within a period of 6 months from the date on which the Private Bill was withdrawn.