Bills Explained

A Bill is a draft law. Bills are either:

  • public - seeking to change the general law, or
  • private - seeking powers for a particular individual or organisation that are in excess of or in conflict with the general law

Public Bills can be introduced by:

  • a member of the Scottish Government (a “Government Bill”)
  • an individual member of Parliament (a "Member’s Bill”), or
  • a parliamentary committee (a “Committee Bill”), 

Where a public bill includes provisions similar in nature to those of a private bill, it is referred to as a hybrid bill.  A hybrid bill may only be introduced by a member of the Scottish Government.

For general information on Bills and the legislative process please contact the Legislation Team.

Parliament Chamber Desks

Understanding the Legislative Process

A quick reference guide to the legislative process.

Parliament and Calrton Hill at Night

Private Bills

A Private Bill is introduced by a promoter, who may be a person, a company or a group of people, for the purpose of obtaining particular powers or benefits that are in addition to, or in conflict with, the general law.

Canongate Entrance at Night

Hybrid Bills

A Hybrid Bill is a Public Bill which adversely affects a particular interest of a person or a body in a way that is different to the interests of other people or bodies in the same category or class.

Bills on new website

All Bills from Session 5 are now only available on our new website. 

When you select any of the links to Session 5 Bills in the Current Bills or Previous Bills sections you will be automatically taken to the new website.

Please help us keep improving the new website by using the feedback tab available on every page.

Read our blog post to find out more

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