Scrutiny of Legislative Consent Memorandum


Scrutiny of Legislative Consent Memorandum

Legislative Consent Memorandums are usually lodged in the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Government. They relate to Bills under consideration in the United Kingdom Parliament which contains what are known as “relevant provisions”. These provisions could:

  • change the law on a 'devolved matter' (an area of policy which the UK Parliament devolved to the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Act 1998); or
  • alter the 'legislative competence' of the Scottish Parliament (its powers to make laws) or the 'executive competence' of Scottish Ministers (their powers to govern).

Under an agreement known as the 'Sewel Convention', the UK Parliament will not pass Bills that contain relevant provisions without first obtaining the consent of the Scottish Parliament. The consent itself is given through a motion (a Legislative Consent Motion) which is taken in the Chamber but the detailed scrutiny is undertaken by a Scottish Parliament committee on the basis of a memorandum. On occasion, a memorandum is lodged which invites the Parliament to note that the Scottish Government does not intend to lodge a legislative consent motion on a particular Bill.

The procedure for scrutiny of Legislative Consent Memorandums and Motions is set out in Chapter 9B of the Parliament’s standing orders. For further background information, and comment, on the Sewel Convention see the SPICe Fact Sheet Sewel Convention Bibliography

The Finance Committee has been designated lead committee in respect of the following Legislative Consent Memoranda:

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

Finance (No.3) Bill

Financial Services Bill

Public Service Pensions Bill

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