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Scotland Act 1998

Details of Provisions

Paragraph 16(1) states that the Interpretation Act 1978 shall be amended.

Paragraph 16(2) inserts new sections after section 23 of the Interpretation Act.

New section 23A(2) and (3) provide that, in certain sections of the Interpretation Act 1978, “Act” includes an Act of the Scottish Parliament.  These are sections 15 to 17 (repealing enactments) and section 18 (duplicated offences).  The amendment will mean that the provisions in sections 15 (repeal of repeals), 16 (general savings) and 17 (repeal and re-enactment) apply both where a UK Act repeals a previous enactment and where an Act of the Scottish Parliament repeals a previous UK enactment.  The subsections also provide that “Act” in section 18 (duplicated offences) includes an Act of the Scottish Parliament.  This is to prevent an offender being liable to be punished under both an Act of the UK Parliament and an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

New section 23A(4) provides for the application of section 20, which makes provision about how an Act of the UK Parliament or a UK statutory instrument may describe or refer to another enactment. The amendment will provide that in section 20 a reference to an “enactment” includes an enactment comprised in an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

Paragraph 16(3) amends Schedule 1 of the 1978 Act to provide definitions of “Act” and “enactment” which will apply to future Acts of Parliament. These definitions exclude Acts of the Scottish Parliament and instruments made under them. This will ensure that future references in Westminster legislation to “Act” or “enactment” do not inadvertently include Scottish legislation.

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