This is a new website that we're testing. Please give us some feedback on our external survey.

Language: English / Gàidhlig

Skip to main content

Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill


The Bill as introduced creates new types of protection notices and orders to protect people from domestic abuse. These are:

  • domestic abuse protection notices (DAPNs)
  • domestic abuse protection orders (DAPOs)

 DAPNs can be made by senior members of the police. They are a very short-term way to offer immediate protection from domestic abuse until a DAPO can be made by a court.

A DAPO can last for up to 2 months and can be extended by another month. A DAPN does not need to be in place to ask the court for a DAPO.

The Bill lists all of the things a DAPN can do. This includes stopping an abuser from entering the home of the person they have abused.

A DAPO can do anything a DAPN can, or anything else the court thinks is needed to protect someone from abuse by their partner or ex-partner.

The Bill also adds a new reason for ending a Scottish secure tenancy when a tenant has been abusive to their partner or ex-partner. The landlord can only seek to end the tenancy if they plan to let the person who has been abused continue to live in the house. The person who has been abused must also wish to continue to live in the house.

You can find out more in the Explanatory Notes that explains the Bill.

Why the Bill was created

The Bill creates additional protection for people who are at risk of domestic abuse, particularly where they are living with their abuser.

The Bill is trying to fill a gap by allowing immediate protection for a short time for a person experiencing domestic abuse. This is to keep them safe while they work out what to do next.

The Bill gives additional protection to people in social housing who experience domestic abuse. It enables landlords to apply to the court to end the tenancy rights of someone who has been abusive to their partner or ex-partner. Landlords can only do this if the person who has been abused wishes to continue living in the house.

You can find out more in the Policy Memorandum that explains the Bill.

Where do laws come from?

The Scottish Parliament can make decisions about many things like:

  • agriculture and fisheries

  • education and training

  • environment

  • health and social services

  • housing

  • justice and policing

  • local government

  • some aspects of tax and social security

These are 'devolved matters'.

Laws that are decided by the Scottish Parliament come from:

Government Bills

These are Bills that have been introduced by the Scottish Government. They are sometimes called 'Executive Bills'.

Most of the laws that the Scottish Parliament looks at are Government Bills.

Hybrid Bill

These Bills are suggested by the Scottish Government.

As well as having an impact on a general (public) law, they could also have an impact on organisations' or the public's private interests.

The first Hybrid Bill was the Forth Crossing Bill.

Members' Bill

These are Bills suggested by MSPs. Every MSP can try to get two laws passed in the time between elections. This 5-year period is called a 'Parliamentary session'.

To do this they need other MSPs from different political parties to support their proposed law.

Committee Bill

These are Bills suggested by a group of MSPs called a committee.

These are Public Bills because they will change general law.

Private Bill

These are Bills suggested by a person, group or company. They usually:

  • add to an existing law

  • change an existing law

A committee would be created to work on a Private Bill.

Bill stage timeline

The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill is currently at Stage 1


The Scottish Government sends the Bill and related documents to the Parliament.

Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill as introduced

Financial Resolution

The Presiding Officer has decided under Rule 9.12 of Standing Orders that a financial resolution is required for this Bill.

Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill. Then MSPs vote on whether it should continue to Stage 2.

Have your say

The deadline for sharing your views on this Bill is 4 December 2020. Submit your views here.

Committees involved in this Bill

Who examined the Bill

Each Bill is examined by a 'lead committee'. This is the committee that has the subject of the Bill in its remit.

It looks at everything to do with the Bill.

Other committees may look at certain parts of the Bill if it covers subjects they deal with.

What is secondary legislation?

Secondary legislation is sometimes called 'subordinate' or 'delegated' legislation. It can be used to:

  • bring a section or sections of a law that’s already been passed, into force

  • give details of how a law will be applied

  • make changes to the law without a new Act having to be passed

An Act is a Bill that’s been approved by Parliament and given Royal Assent (formally approved).

Delegated Powers and Law Reform committee's Stage 1 report 

Share this page