This Member’s Bill was introduced by Andy Wightman MSP. It proposes to incorporate the European Charter of Local Self-Government into Scots law.
The Charter is an international treaty of the Council of Europe signed by the UK in 1997. The Council of Europe is an international organisation founded in 1949 to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The Charter sets out some principles to protect the basic powers of local authorities.
Extra legislation is needed to give the international treaty the same status in Scots law as domestic laws. That is the purpose of this Bill.
Under this Bill, the following must be compatible with the Charter:
- actions that Scottish Ministers take within their devolved powers
- laws that are in the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament
It will mean action can be taken in the courts to challenge these actions and laws if someone believes they may not be compatible.
You can find out more in the document prepared on behalf of Andy Wightman MSP that explains the Bill.
Why the Bill was created
The member in charge of the Bill, Andy Wightman MSP, has introduced the Bill to strengthen the status and standing of local government.
Andy Wightman supports the principles of the Charter. He wants to make sure they are routinely applied by the Scottish Government.
He also wants to make sure that people who think those principles are not being followed can do something about that. This includes raising their concerns in a Scottish court.
You can find out more in the document prepared on behalf of Andy Wightman, MSP 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
- health and social services
- 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:
The Member in charge of the Bill, Andy Wightman MSP sends the Bill and the related documents to the Parliament.
Related information on the Bill
Why the Bill is being proposed (Policy Memorandum)
Explanation of the Bill (Explanatory Notes)
How much the Bill is likely to cost (Financial Memorandum)
Opinions on whether the Parliament has the power to make the law (Statements on Legislative Competence)
Information on the powers the Bill gives the Scottish Government and others (Delegated Powers Memorandum)
Additional Member in charge
Alison Johnstone, MSP is the additional member in charge for the European Charter Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill.
Stage 1 - General principles
Committees examine the Bill. Then MSPs vote on whether it should continue to Stage 2.
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).