The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works.  The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.


half sitting day

Under rule 5.6.2, a period on a sitting day between 14.30 and 17.00 on a Monday, between 09.15 and 12.30 or 14.30 and 17.00 on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday or between 09.30 and 12.00 on a Friday. On 12 half sitting days in each parliamentary year, the business of committees is given priority over the business of the Scottish Executive at meetings of the Parliament; on 16 half sitting days in each parliamentary year, meetings of the Parliament consider business chosen by political parties which are not represented in the Scottish Executive, or by any group formed under rule 5.2.2.

Health and Sport Committee

A subject committee of the Parliament, the remit of which is to consider and report on matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport. (As agreed by resolution of Parliament on 1 June 2016).


The area of Edinburgh where the Scottish Parliament is located.

Holyrood Progress Group (HPG)

A group that was set up following a resolution of the Parliament on 5 April 2000. It met for the first time in July 2000 and the last meeting was on 6 October 2004. Made up of representatives of the Parliament and relevant professionals, it was directed to work with the SPCB to finalise the design of the new Parliament building, complete the project and report regularly to the SPCB and members on the progress and costs of construction.

Holyrood Project Team (HPT)

The group that acted as the SPCB’s representative in securing delivery of the Scottish Parliament’s new building at Holyrood.

home rule

Another description for forms of democratically elected Scottish self-government, such as devolution.

House of Commons

The lower house of the United Kingdom Parliament (Westminster), composed of 646 members of Parliament (MPs).

House of Lords

The upper house of the United Kingdom Parliament (Westminster), composed of peers.

Human Resources Office

This office is responsible for providing a human resource service for the Parliament.

Human Rights Act 1998

UK legislation that applies most of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights to domestic UK law.

Hybrid Bill

A hybrid bill is a public bill that adversely affects a particular interest of a person or a body in a way that is different from the interests of other people or bodies in the same category or class. Hybrid bills generally relate to development projects and the use of land. This type of bill could seek to authorise the construction or alteration of works or to authorise the compulsory acquisition or use of any land or buildings. The legislative procedure for hybrid bills is set out in chapter 9C of the standing orders.

Hybrid Bill Committee

Any committee of the Parliament established to consider a hybrid bill.

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