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Scotland Act 1998

General

Section 141 of the Mental Health Act makes provision for the Speaker of the UK Parliament to be informed if a member of the House of Commons is authorised to be detained on grounds of mental illness.  Where the Speaker receives such a notification, or is notified by two MPs that they are credibly informed that such an authorisation has been made, the Speaker can have the member examined by 2 registered medical practitioners appointed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  If they report that he is suffering from mental illness and is authorised to be detained, the Speaker is to have him examined again after six months.  If after the second examination the position has not changed, the Speaker must lay both medical reports before the House of Commons and the member’s seat then becomes vacant.  This amendment provides for the same procedures to apply to members of the Scottish Parliament detained on grounds of mental illness for the purposes of determining when their seat should become vacant.

Section 17(4) makes further provision in relation to an MSP to whom section 141 as amended applies.  In particular it provides that he may not take part in the proceedings of the Parliament while he is disqualified, even though his seat is not yet vacated.

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