Scottish Parliament, Scotland

The earliest written mention of a Scottish Parliament was in 1235. In 1424, Acts of Parliament begin to be recorded in Scots.

In 1532, Parliament passed an act setting up the Court of Session, the supreme civil court in Scotland. The Court of Session still exists today as part of the College of Justice, a body bringing together all the supreme courts in Scotland.

The Scotland Bill establishing the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive (Scottish government) was passed by the UK Parliament and received royal assent on 19 November 1989. The first elections to the Scottish Parliament were held on 6 May 1999.

The Scotland Act 1998 gave the Scottish Parliament power to make laws on devolved matters. However, some issues - know as reserved matters - are still handled by the UK Parliament at Westminster.

The new Scottish Parliament building was officially opened on 9 October 2004 at Holyrood.

The Scottish Parliament is headed by the Presiding Officer. Others in the Organisation are 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), MSPs' researchers and support staff, Scottish Parliamentary Service staff.

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) supports the work of the Parliament and its members. Its staff provide the day-to-day services that Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) need to carry out their roles.

There is only one chamber in the Parliament and the Chamber is where meetings of the full Parliament take place. During these meetings, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) debate topical issues and decide on new laws.

The official website of the Scottish Parliament features Parliamentary Business (The Chamber, Parliamentary Procedure, Bills, Committees, Official Reports, Recess Dates, Research Briefings and Fact Sheets, Motions, Questions and Answers); Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs); Visit & Learn (Visiting the Parliament, History, How the Parliament Works, Education, Leaflets and Guides); About the Parliament (Corporate Governance, Parliamentary Service, Presiding Officers, Parliament at Home and Abroad); Getting Involved; News & Media Center.

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Guide ID: 494 - Last Updated: August 21, 2013