Scotland Act 2016

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2016 c. 11


Scotland Act 2016

2016 CHAPTER 11

An Act to amend the Scotland Act 1998 and make provision about the functions of the Scottish Ministers; and for connected purposes.

[23rd March 2016]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Constitutional arrangements

PART 1

Constitutional arrangements

The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government

The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government

S-1 Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

1 Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

In the Scotland Act 1998 after Part 2 (the Scottish Administration) insert—

“PART 2A

Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

63A Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

(1) The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements.

(2) The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions of this Act, to signify the commitment of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

(3) In view of that commitment it is declared that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.”

The Sewel convention

The Sewel convention

S-2 The Sewel convention

2 The Sewel convention

In section 28 of the Scotland Act 1998 (Acts of the Scottish Parliament) at the end add—

“(8) But it is recognised that the Parliament of the United Kingdom will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.”

Elections etc

Elections etc

S-3 Elections

3 Elections

(1) Section B3 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 (elections) is amended as follows.

(2) Under the heading “B3 Elections” insert—

“(A) Elections for membership of the House of Commons and the European Parliament”.

(3) For “, the European Parliament and the Parliament” substitute “and the European Parliament”.

(4) Omit the words from “The franchise at local government elections” to the end of the Exceptions and insert—

“(B) Elections for membership of the Parliament a nd local government elections in Scotland The subject-matter of sections 2(2A) and 12A of this Act. The subject-matter of section 43(1AA) of the Representation of the People Act 1983. The combination of— (a) polls at elections or referendums that are outside the legislative competence of the Parliament with polls at— (i) elections for membership of the Parliament, or (ii) local government elections in Scotland, and (b) polls at ordinary general elections for membership of the Parliament with polls at ordinary local government elections in Scotland. Any digital service provided by a Minister of the Crown for the registration of electors. The subject matter of— (a) Parts 5 and 6 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (expenditure in connection with elections) where a limit applies to expenditure in relation to a period determined by reference both to the date of the poll for an election within the legislative competence of the Parliament and to the date of the poll at an election for membership of the House of Commons or the European Parliament, and (b) sections 145 to 148 and 150 to 154 of that Act (enforcement) as they apply for the purposes of Part 5 or 6, so far as the subject-matter of that Part is reserved by paragraph (a). The subject matter of— (a) sections 155 and 156 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, except in relation to Parts 5 and 6 of that Act so far as those Parts relate to elections for membership of the Parliament, and (b) sections 145 to 148 and 150 to 154 of that Act as they apply for the purposes of section 155 or 156, so far as the subject-matter of that section is reserved by paragraph (a). The subject-matter of the following sections of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 in relation to elections for membership of the Parliament— (a) section 1, except in relation to— (i) financing the Electoral Commission, (ii) preparation, laying and publication by the Commission of reports about the performance of its functions, and (iii) provision by the Commission of copies of regulations made by it or notice of the alteration or revocation of such regulations, (b) sections 2 to 4, 6(1)(e) and (f) (and (g) to the extent that it relates to the law mentioned in those paragraphs), (c) sections 12, 21 to 33, 35 to 37, 39 to 57, 58 to 67, 69, 71, 71F, 71G, 71H to 71Y and 140A, (d) section 149 (except in relation to the register kept under section 89), (e) sections 157 and 159 to 163, and (f) sections 145 to 148 and 150 to 154 as they apply for the purposes of a provision mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e), so far as the subject matter of that provision is reserved by those paragraphs.”

(5) In the Interpretation provision, omit the definitions of “Digital service” and “Ordinary local election” and insert—

“Paragraph 5(1) of Part 3 of this Schedule does not apply to the subject-matter of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000; and references to the subject-matter of that Act are to be read as at the day on which the Scotland Act 2016 received Royal Assent.”

S-4 Power to make provision about elections

4 Power to make provision about elections

(1) For sections 12 and 12A of the Scotland Act 1998 (power of Scottish Ministers and Secretary of State to make provision about elections) substitute—

“12 Power of the Scottish Ministers to make provision about elections

(1) The Scottish Ministers may by order make any provision that would be within the legislative competence of the Parliament, if included in an Act of the Scottish Parliament, as to—

(a) the conduct of elections for membership of the Parliament,

(b) the questioning of such an election and the consequences of irregularities, and

(c) the return of members of the Parliament otherwise than at an election.

(2) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(a) includes, in particular, provision—

(a) about the registration of electors,

(b) for disregarding alterations in a register of electors,

(c) about the limitation of the election expenses of candidates,

(d) for the combination of polls,

(e) for modifying the application of section 7(1) where the poll at an election for the return of a constituency member is abandoned (or notice of it is countermanded), and

(f) for modifying section 8(7) to ensure the allocation of the correct number of seats for the region.

(3) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(c) includes, in particular, provision modifying section 10(4) to (5A).

(4) An order under subsection (1) may—

(a) apply, with or without modifications or exceptions, any provision made by or under the Representation of the People Acts or the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 or by any other enactment relating to parliamentary elections, European Parliamentary elections or local government elections, and

(b) so far as may be necessary in consequence of any provision made by an order under subsection (1), modify any provision made by any enactment relating to the registration of parliamentary electors or local government electors.

(5) The return of a member of the Parliament at an election may be questioned only under Part 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 as applied by an order under subsection (1).

(6) For the purposes of this Act, the regional returning officer for any region is the person designated as such in accordance with an order made by the Scottish Ministers under this subsection.

12A Power of the Secretary of State to make pr ovision about the combination of polls

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for—

(a) the combination of polls at ordinary general elections for membership of the Parliament with polls at the elections listed in subsection (2), and

(b) the combination of polls at extraordinary general elections for membership of the Parliament, and by-elections for membership of the Parliament, with polls at the elections listed in subsections (2) and (3).

(2) The elections are—

(a) early parliamentary general elections,

(b) parliamentary by-elections, and

(c) European parliamentary by-elections.

(3) The elections are—

(a) parliamentary general elections, and

(b) European parliamentary general elections.

(4) The Secretary of State may not make regulations under this section without the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.

(5) Regulations under subsection (1) may—

(a) apply, with or without modifications or exceptions, any provision made by or under the Representation of the People Acts or the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 or by any other enactment relating to parliamentary elections, European Parliamentary elections or local government elections, and

(b) modify any form contained in, or in regulations or rules made under, the Representation of the People Acts so far as may be necessary to enable it to be used both for the original purpose and in relation to elections for membership of the Parliament.”

(2) In section 15 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (combination of polls) after subsection (5B) insert—

“(5C) Before making provision under subsection (5) in connection with the combination of polls where one of the elections is a local government...

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