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Scotland Act 1998

Details of Provisions

Paragraph 19 adds a new subsection (8) to section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983 so as to apply its provisions (as described above) with appropriate modifications to Members of the Scottish Parliament in the same way that it applies to Westminster MPs.  The section will then provide for the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament to be informed when any Member of the Scottish Parliament is authorised to be detained on grounds of mental illness, and for the member’s seat to be vacated in accordance with section 141.

The Presiding Officer may be informed of a member’s detention by the court, authority or person on whose order or application the detention was authorised, or by any registered medical practitioners who recommended detention, or by the person in charge of the establishment where the MSP is authorised to be detained.  Two members of the Scottish Parliament may also notify the Presiding Officer that they are credibly informed that such an authorisation has been given notification of a detention the Presiding Officer must have the member examined by two registered medical practitioners appointed by the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  A report is then made to the Presiding Officer.  A second such report is made after a period of six months from the first report (if the Parliament is sitting: if not as soon as possible thereafter).

If the second report confirms that the member is suffering from mental illness and is still detained the Presiding Officer will lay both reports before the Parliament and the seat of the MSP shall become vacant.

The fees and expenses incurred by medical practitioners in examining the member on behalf of the Scottish Parliament should be paid out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

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