Types of Bill

Public bills

Public bills can be introduced to the Parliament by different means.

Government bills

Government bills are introduced by a Cabinet Secretary or Minister (a member of the Scottish Government).

Committee bills

Committee bills are introduced by the convener of a committee and may follow a committee inquiry on the need for legislation in a particular area.

Members' bills

Members' bills can be introduced by any MSP who is not a member of the Scottish Government.

The stages of a member’s bill are as follows:

  • A draft proposal is printed in Section G of the Business Bulletin for one day.
  • Around the same time (in most cases), a consultation document is issued seeking comments and views.
  • At the end of the consultation period (or after it has been agreed that no consultation is needed), the MSP can lodge a final proposal, which is printed in Section G of the Business Bulletin for a month.
  • If this proposal attracts cross-party support from 18 other MSPs during this time, and the Scottish Government do not indicate that they will bring forward their own legislation, the member can then introduce a bill to give effect to it at any time during the session.

The proposal process for members' bills is outlined in a flow chart.

There is a list of all proposed members' bills on our website. Any inquiries about a proposed member’s bill before its introduction should be directed to the office of the relevant MSP.

Private bills

A private bill is one introduced by a promoter. The promoter can be an individual, a company or a group of people who is seeking to obtain particular powers or benefits that are in addition to, or in conflict with, the general law. Private bills generally relate to development projects, the use of land, or the property or status of the promoter.

More information about private bills is available in the Parliamentary Business section of our website.