Structure and operation of the Scottish Parliament
Produced in partnership with Dr Kirsty Hood of Hastie Stables
Structure and operation of the Scottish Parliament

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Dr Kirsty Hood of Hastie Stables provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Structure and operation of the Scottish Parliament
  • Brexit impact—devolution
  • Which voting system is used in Scottish Parliament elections?
  • What governments have been produced by this electoral system?
  • What are the functions and powers of the Scottish Government?
  • Who are other key players in the Scottish Parliament?
  • How are laws made by the Scottish Parliament?

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for public law?

This Practice Note provides an introduction to the Scottish Parliament. It considers how its members are elected and how it exercises its law-making powers. Within that context, it also describes how the Scottish Government is formed, and the functions which it performs.

Brexit impact—devolution

The UK devolution structures involve complex interaction with EU law and EU competences, and are therefore impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For general updates on the process and preparations for Brexit, see: Brexit timeline. For further reading on the impact of Brexit on devolution, see News Analysis: Examining the impact of Brexit and UK-wide common frameworks on devolution. For detail on the impact for Scotland, see Practice Note: Brexit—implications for Scotland.

Which voting system is used in Scottish Parliament elections?

Elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament are known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The voting

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