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Bills and Laws

Miners' Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill


The Bill provides a pardon for miners who were convicted of certain offences relating to the 1984-1985 miners’ strike where the conditions of the pardon are met.

The offences are:

  • breach of the peace
  • breach of bail conditions – Section 3 of the Bail etc. (Scotland) Act 1980
  • obstructing police etc. – Section 41(1)(a) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967

The offence must have been committed while the miner was taking part in a picket line, demonstration or similar gathering in support of the strike - or while travelling to or from a picket line,  demonstration or similar gathering.

If the Bill is enacted, a pardon will apply automatically. Miners will not need to apply for a pardon.


The Bill was passed on 16 June 2022 and became an Act on 26 July 2022


Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill and gather views. They produce reports before MSPs debate the Bill in the Chamber. MSPs then decide on the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.

The Bill ended Stage 1 on 31 March 2022

Committee Examination

The lead committee for this Bill is the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee

Find out more about this committee


Committee consideration of the Bill at Stage 1.

23 November 2021 (in private)

Briefing from the Scottish Parliament's Legislation Team, followed by

Briefing from the Scottish Government's Bill Team.

14 December 2021 (in private)

Consideration and agreement of approach to engagement on the Bill at Stage 1.

11 January 2022

Evidence session with Miners' representatives and academics, followed by

Evidence session with Police representatives.

8 February 2022

Evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans.

22 February 2022 (in private)

Consideration of key issues and recommendations.

Submit your views

Those submitting evidence to the Committee should feel free to address any, or all, of the policy issues contained in the Bill.

It would be helpful if any written submissions could address the following questions:

  1. Whether the legislation is necessary or whether an alternative approach should be considered.
  2. Your views on Section 1 of the Bill which limits the pardon to picketing/demonstration and connected travel.
  3. Your views on Section 2 of the Bill which details the range of offences which are covered by the pardon.
  4. Whether previous or subsequent convictions should disqualify a miner from receiving a pardon.
  5. Any other comments you have regarding the Bill

View responses

The call for views closed on Friday 14 January 2022.

Who spoke to the lead committee of the Parliament

MSPs met with people in committee meetings to discuss what the Bill will do.

Minutes of 23 November 2021 (private)
Minutes of 14 December 2021 (private)
Minutes of 11 January 2022
Minutes of 8 February 2022
Minutes of 22 February 2022 (private)
Minutes of 8 March 2022 (private)

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Meeting on 11 January 2022
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Meeting on 8 February 2022
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Other ways the committee heard views and experiences

1 February 2022 (in private)

Informal engagement hearing from individuals with lived experiences of the 1984-85 miners' strikes.


Committee correspondence sent and received while the Bill progressed through Parliament

Work by other committees 

Finance and Public Administration Committee

Scrutiny of Financial Memorandum

Committee report

The lead committee published its report on 18 March 2022.

Stage 1 report on the Miners' Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill

The Committee received the following responses to its report –


MSPs debate the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.

Meeting on 31 March 2022

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MSPs vote on the general principles of the Bill.

Meeting on 31 March 2022

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Motion ref. S6M-03864

Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill

  • Submitted by: Keith Brown, Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, Scottish National Party.
  • Date lodged: Tuesday, 29 March 2022
  • Motion reference: S6M-03864
  • Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, 31 March 2022

MSPs agreed that this Bill could continue