You are viewing an archived web page captured at 08:46:21 Mar 01, 2022, which is part of the National Records of Scotland Web Archive. The information on this web page may be out of date. See all captures of this archived page. Archived web pages you visit here may leave cookies in your browser. These are not owned, controlled, or used by NRS. NRS do use cookies, including Google Analytics, to monitor site usage and performance. These can be managed in your browser settings. Find out more about cookies.
Loading media information

Website survey

We want your feedback on the Scottish Parliament website. Take our 6 question survey now

Skip to main content

Language: English / Gàidhlig


Bills and Laws

Secondary legislation

Find out about secondary legislation


What is secondary legislation?

Secondary legislation lets the Scottish Government (or in some cases the Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland, who is the most senior judge in Scotland) make changes to laws. These changes are known as secondary legislation.

Secondary legislation can:

  • give more information about how a law will operate
  • be used to say when parts of the new Act should become law (when a bill is passed, it doesn’t always become law straight away)
  • keep existing laws up to date

Secondary legislation can also be called:

  • subordinate legislation
  • regulations
  • SSIs (Scottish Statutory Instruments)
  • delegated legislation

Most Bills have plans to make secondary legislation in them. Secondary legislation has the same legal status as Bills but does not take as long for the Parliament to look at. Usually secondary legislation takes around 40 days to get through Parliament.