Search Legislation

Scotland Act 1998

Purpose and Effect

This section makes provision for the interpretation of an Act or a Bill of the Scottish Parliament, or of subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved or purporting to be made confirmed or approved by a member of the Scottish Executive.  The purpose of the section is to enable the courts to give effect to such legislation, wherever possible, rather than to invalidate it.  It is intended to ensure that the courts will not invalidate such legislation merely because it could be read in such as a way as to make it outside competence, such as outside the legislative competence of the Parliament or the competence of Scottish Ministers.  It provides that, in that case, such legislation is to be read as narrowly as is required for it to be considered to be within competence, if such a reading is possible.

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