Certification of bills relating exclusively to Scotland, etc

27.2A number of adaptations to legislative procedure for bills with a limited territorial extent in the House of Commons were introduced prior to legislative devolution. These remain part of the House's practice and bills extending only to Scotland have been introduced since legislative devolution.1 Under a standing order first introduced in 1948,2 the Speaker may certify a bill as relating exclusively to Scotland. This provision applies to any public bill and a decision is to be taken after such a bill is printed. In deciding whether to certify a bill as relating exclusively to Scotland, the Speaker shall disregard ‘minor consequential amendments of enactments which extend to England and Wales or Northern Ireland’, as well amendments to certain specified legislative provisions.3 The House has ordered bills relating mainly but not exclusively to Scotland to be proceeded with as if they had been certified as relating exclusively to Scotland.4


  1. 1. See, for example, Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Bill, CJ (2012–13) 610.
  2. 2. Erskine May (15th edn, 1950), p 511. Now SO No 97.
  3. 3. SO No 97(1). The specified provisions are sch 2 to the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, sch 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 and sch 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975. A bill dealing with a subject on which there was no separate Scottish legislation, and which sought to legislate for Scotland by amending an Act applying to the United Kingdom, was not certified (Sunday Working (Scotland) Bill 2003).
  4. 4. CJ (1991–92) 55; ibid (1995–96) 333, 386.