Search Legislation

Scotland Act 1998

Details of Provisions

Subsection (1) provides that the strict liability rule shall not apply to any publication:


made in the proceedings of the Scottish Parliament in relation to a Bill or subordinate legislation; or


to the extent that it consists of a fair and accurate report of such proceedings made in good faith.

Subsection (1)(a) is necessary to ensure that the Scottish Parliament is able to consider and pass legislation about any matter even if that matter may be the subject of proceedings before a court which are active. Subsection (1)(b) is designed to protect those who report such proceedings in good faith.

The note on section 41 sets out what is meant by proceedings in the Parliament.

Subsection (2) provides that the “strict liability rule” and “publication” have the same meanings as in the Contempt of Court Act 1981. Section 1 of that Act states that “the strict liability rule means the rule of law whereby conduct may be treated as a contempt of court as tending to interfere with the course of justice in particular legal proceedings regardless of intent to do so”. Section 2 of the 1981 Act states that for the purposes of the rule, “publication” includes any speech, writing, programme in a cable programme service, or other communication in whatever form, which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources