The two hundredth Act of the Scottish Parliament will become law later this week when the Forth Road Bridge Bill receives Royal Assent.
Following approval of the Bill by Her Majesty the Queen, the application of the Great Seal of Scotland, also known as the Scottish Seal, is expected to happen on Friday 28 June and it will mark the moment the Bill becomes the two hundredth Act passed by the Scottish Parliament.
Presiding Officer, The Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, said:
“The Scottish Parliament was only four months old when its first piece of legislation was enacted. Fourteen years on, the two hundredth Act is a landmark moment in the story of devolution.
“The breadth of legislation that has been passed has helped to shape the lives of the people of Scotland. It is fitting that the two hundredth Act will now help to shape the future of one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks.”
How does Royal Assent happen?
- The day after the Bill is passed in the Scottish Parliament letters are sent to the law officers (Advocate General for Scotland, the Lord Advocate and the Attorney General) advising them of the four week period in which they can raise legal objection to the Bill.
- If no objection is made by the law officers, or the four week period has passed, the Presiding Officer writes to Her Majesty The Queen enclosing the Bill and a Royal Warrant for signature – these are then delivered to Buckingham Palace.
- When the Bill and Royal Warrant are returned to the Scottish Parliament, the Warrant is hand-stitched together.
- The documents are then delivered to Registers of Scotland, followed by the National Records of Scotland, in Edinburgh, where the Great Seal of Scotland is applied.
- Notices are then placed in the official journals of record: the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes signalling that Royal Assent has been given.
- In all of the 200 Acts of the Scottish Parliament the Great Seal of Scotland has been made using beeswax supplied by a specialist firm in East Lothian. The process of making the Great Seal of Scotland has changed very little over 800 years.
The Bill to make provision about the management and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge was unanimously passed by MSPs in the Parliament on 23rd May. Details of the 200th Bill can be accessed here:
Forth Road Bridge Bill
A list of all of the current Bills being considered by the Scottish Parliament can be accessed here:
Current bills being considered by the Scottish Parliament
A list of all of the previous Bills considered by the Scottish Parliament can be accessed here:
Previous bills by session
Each of the Bills in the four sessions of the Scottish Parliament are presented in alphabetical order.
Landmark pieces of legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament over the past 14 years include:
- Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 1999 was the first Act passed by the Scottish Parliament. To protect the public from serious harm it closed a loophole in the law with regards the discharge of restricted patients;
- Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 provided free personal care for the elderly;
- Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gave everyone the right to ask for information held by a Scottish public authority;
- Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 provided a ban on smoking in public places;
- Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 set targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and;
- Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011 made provisions in which a person convicted or acquitted of an offence may be prosecuted anew.