Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament
The Standing Orders are the rules of procedure for the Parliament.
They have been made in accordance with the Scotland Act 1998.
Some Standing Order rules have been suspended or varied for the duration of the public response to Covid-19.
- Previous versions of the Standing Orders
- Chapter 1 Members
- Chapter 2 Meetings of the Parliament
- Chapter 3 Officers of the Parliament and Other Officers
- Chapter 3A Parliamentary Corporation Supported Bodies
- Chapter 3B Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme Fund Trustees
- Chapter 3C Directions and resolutions under the Lobbying Scotland Act 2016
- Chapter 4 The Scottish Government
- Chapter 5 The Parliamentary Bureau and Management of Business
- Chapter 6 Committees
- Chapter 6A The Conveners Group
- Chapter 7 Conduct of Meetings
- Chapter 8 Motions and Points of Order
- Chapter 9 Public Bill Procedures
- Chapter 9A Private Bill Procedures
- Chapter 9B Consent in Relation to UK Parliament Bills
- Chapter 9BA Consent in relation to Orders under the Public Bodies Act 2011
- Chapter 9C Hybrid Bills Procedures
- Chapter 10 Subordinate Legislation Procedure
- Chapter 10A Proposals for European Union Legislation
- Chapter 11 Decisions and Voting
- Chapter 12 Committee Procedures
- Chapter 13 Statements and Parliamentary Questions
- Chapter 14 Laying and Publication of Documents
- Chapter 15 Openness and Accessibility
- Chapter 16 Reporting of Proceedings
- Chapter 17 Miscellaneous
Chapter 17 Miscellaneous
Rule 17.1 Amending standing orders
1. The Parliament may, on a motion of the committee mentioned in Rule 6.4, amend these standing orders. Any decision of the Parliament to amend the standing orders shall, if taken by division, require an absolute majority. Any amendment to the standing orders must be consistent with the requirements of the Act.
Rule 17.1A Temporary amendment to standing orders
1. The Parliament may, on a motion of the committee mentioned in Rule 6.4 to this effect, amend these standing orders on a temporary basis (and specify the duration of any such amendment). The requirements set out in Rule 17.1 shall apply also in relation to any temporary amendment under this paragraph, and to the outcome of any review of it under paragraph 2.
2. Any temporary amendment made under Rule 17.1A shall be subject to review by that committee, which may, on a motion, recommend any revisions to it (including its duration).
3. In an emergency, the Parliamentary Bureau may, on a motion, recommend that these standing orders are amended on a temporary basis, or that revisions are made to any existing temporary amendment made under them (including the duration of such amendment). In these circumstances, the Parliamentary Bureau shall notify the committee mentioned in Rule 6.4 prior to the motion being moved. The Member moving the motion on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau shall explain the need for the temporary amendment.
4. Any temporary amendment to the rules shall be annexed to these standing orders
Rule 17.2 Suspension and variation of standing orders
1. Subject to paragraph 2, the Parliament may—
(a) on a motion of any member or of the Parliamentary Bureau, suspend such of these Rules or such part of a Rule (including a single word or number) as is specified in the motion, but only for the purpose of such meeting of the Parliament, a committee or sub-committee as is specified in the motion; or
(b) on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau, suspend such of these Rules or such part of a Rule (including a single word or number) as is specified in the motion, but only for the purpose of such particular item of business as is specified in the motion, and may make such alternative provision for the Rule or part suspended as is specified in the motion.
2. The Parliament may suspend any Rule or part of a Rule or make alternative provision only if so doing would be consistent with the requirements of the Act.
Rule 17.2A Date of resignation
1. Where these Rules provide for a member to resign from an office other than a Fund trustee by giving notice in writing or intimating resignation to a person or body, the date of resignation is—
(a) the date on which the notice or intimation is received by that person or body; or
(b) such later date as may be specified in the notice or intimation.
Rule 17.3 Notice to members
1. Where these Rules impose a requirement to notify the Parliament or members of any matter, notification shall normally be given in the Business Bulletin.
2. Where the Parliament is in recess, notice shall be given in whatever form is considered by the person giving that notice to be sufficient.
3. Where notice is given in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2, that notice shall also be made public.
Rule 17.4 Lodging of documents
1. Where these Rules provide for anything, other than a Bill and any instrument or other document to which Chapter 10 or 14 applies, to be lodged with, or notified to, the Clerk by a member, this may be done by its—
(a) being lodged with, or notified in writing to, the Clerk by the member;
(b) being lodged with, or notified in writing to, the Clerk by any other person on behalf of the member, but only if that person has been authorised to do so by the member and the Clerk has been notified of that authorisation in writing; or
(c) being sent by e-mail to the Clerk from the member’s e-mail address, but only if the member has notified the Clerk in writing that the member intends lodging documents by e-mail.
2. In addition, anything to be lodged with, or notified to, the Clerk by a member of the Scottish Government or a junior Scottish Minister may be sent by e-mail to the Clerk from the e-mail address of a member of the staff of the Scottish Administration but only if that member of staff has been authorised to do so by any member of the Scottish Government or a junior Scottish Minister and the Clerk has been notified of that authorisation in writing.
Rule 17.5 Consulting the Parliament
1. Where under an enactment a person is required to consult the Parliament and that person does so by laying a consultation document before the Parliament or otherwise by providing the Clerk with such a document, the Clerk shall ensure that notice of receipt of the document is published in the Business Bulletin.
2. Once a consultation document has been laid or provided to the Clerk, the Parliamentary Bureau shall refer it to the committee within whose remit the subject matter of the consultation falls. That committee (referred to as “the lead committee”) shall consider and report to the Parliament on the consultation. Where the subject matter of the consultation falls within the remit of more than one committee the Parliament may, on a motion of the Parliamentary Bureau, designate one of those committees as the lead committee. The other committee or committees (the “secondary committee or committees”) may also consider the consultation document and report its or their views to the lead committee.
3. Once the lead committee has reported, the Parliament shall consider the consultation document in the light of the lead committee’s report.
Rule 17.6 Interpretation
1. Any expression used both in these Rules and in the Act shall (unless expressly provided otherwise) have the same meaning in these Rules as in the Act.
2. Any reference in these Rules to a numbered section is (unless expressly provided otherwise) to the section having that number in the Act.
3. In these Rules—
“the Act” means the Scotland Act 1998 (c.46);
“the 2010 Act” means the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (asp 10)
“court” includes tribunal;
“legal proceedings” means any legal proceedings (whether civil or criminal) in any court in the United Kingdom;
“affirmative procedure” has the same meaning as in section 29 of the 2010 Act;
“devolved subordinate legislation” has the same meaning as in section 37 of the 2010 Act; and
“negative procedure” has the same meaning as in section 28 of the 2010 Act.
Other supporting information
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