Subordinate Legislation

Oral Answers to Questions — Advocate-General – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 17th July 2001.

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Photo of Ms Annabelle Ewing Ms Annabelle Ewing Scottish National Party, Perth 2:30 pm, 17th July 2001

If she will make a statement on the application of schedule 7 3(1)(b) of the Scotland Act 1998.

Photo of Dr Lynda Clark Dr Lynda Clark Advocate General for Scotland, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Advocate General for Scotland

Paragraph 3(1)(b) applies to numerous powers to make subordinate legislation under the Scotland Act 1998. It requires affirmative resolution procedure to be used where the subordinate legislation alters the text of an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament.

Photo of Ms Annabelle Ewing Ms Annabelle Ewing Scottish National Party, Perth

I thank the Advocate-General for her answer, but I should like to pursue the matter a wee bit further. Will she confirm that a detailed reading of the Scotland Act shows that when reference is made to an Act of the Scottish Parliament, the term "Act of the Scottish Parliament" will be used? Similarly, will she assure us that when reference is made to an Act of the Westminster Parliament, the term "Act of the UK Parliament" will be used? Will she therefore confirm that if an annulment is sought for supposed elements of an Act of the Scottish Parliament that are ultra vires, the UK Government would be required to invoke the special case procedure set out in schedule 7 3(1)(b)?

Photo of Dr Lynda Clark Dr Lynda Clark Advocate General for Scotland, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Advocate General for Scotland

Fortunately, I almost understand the hon. Lady's question. Basically, when an Act refers to an Act of the UK Parliament, that is exactly what it means. Similarly, when an Act refers to an Act of the Scottish Parliament, that is what it means. It depends entirely on the interpretation provided in the Scotland Act 1998 and the Interpretation Act 1978.