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Scotland Act 1998


The Scotland Act 1998 contains nearly 40 separate powers to make subordinate legislation. These powers vary widely in scope and importance, with some intended for single use and others forming part of the mechanism for the long-term management of the devolution arrangements.  The powers are to be exercised by the UK Government, the Scottish Ministers or by Her Majesty in Council, and are generally subject to parliamentary scrutiny in the United Kingdom Parliament, the Scottish Parliament or both.

Sections 112 to 115 and Schedule 7 draw together the provisions relating to the extent of these powers, to the procedure required in the Westminster and/or Scottish Parliaments, and to the person by whom each power is exercisable.  This approach avoids the need to specify these matters in each section, thus simplifying the overall structure of the Act.

Section 113, and 114 contains standard provisions commonly accorded to powers to make subordinate legislation, such as an ability to make supplementary provision, to delegate functions and to charge sums on the Consolidated Fund. In certain cases, particularly where the UK Government is empowered to take action as a result of action of the Scottish Parliament or Executive, subordinate legislation may make provision having retrospective effect.

Each of the powers conferred elsewhere in the Act require to be read together with these sections.

The table at the end of this note shows the effect of sections 112 to 115 and Schedule 7 for each power.

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