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About Bills

Bills and laws


Why are new laws made?

The Scottish Parliament can make laws on many subjects, including:

  • agriculture and fisheries
  • education and training
  • environment
  • health and social services
  • housing
  • justice and policing
  • local government
  • some aspects of tax and social security

These are “devolved matters”. The UK Parliament does not normally make laws on these matters without the Scottish Parliament’s consent. 

Why new laws may be needed or wanted

  • the Scottish Government will have been elected promising certain changes and bills may be needed to make those changes  
  • individual MSPs or committees may have their own ideas about new laws or laws that need to change 
  • existing laws may be out of date or no longer work well
  • sometimes a particular event, including a decision by a court, shows a problem with an existing law and a new law is needed to fix it