Todays business includes Stage 3 legislative proceedings This by asafwewe

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									CONSIDERING A BILL IN THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT: STAGE 3 PROCEEDINGS

Today’s business includes Stage 3 legislative proceedings. This note is intended
to help you follow those proceedings, including introducing you to the most
important documents used during them.

Stage 3 is the final stage for consideration of any public Bill and is in two parts.
The first is consideration of any amendments to change the Bill. This is followed
by a debate on whether the completed Bill should be passed.

If you wish to follow proceedings at Stage 3 in detail, you may find it helpful to
have the following three documents:
    • the Bill itself,
    • the Marshalled List of Amendments,
    • the list of Groupings of Amendments.

The Bill
This document is the draft law which MSPs are considering. If the Bill has been
amended in committee at Stage 2, the MSPs will be considering the Bill As
Amended. The Bill contains line numberings in the margins to help identify where
in the Bill new amendments are being proposed.

The Marshalled List of amendments
This is a list of all the proposed amendments to the Bill selected by the Presiding
Officer, set out in the order in which they will be decided upon. (This “marshalled”
order is set out near the top of the first page of the list.) This document is where to
look to see the text of any amendment. Each amendment is identified by a
number in the left-hand margin, by which it will be referred to in debate. Above
each amendment is the name of the member who lodged it.

The list of Groupings
The Presiding Officer can group amendments for debate. One reason for grouping
is to cut down on repetition (so that two or more amendments making similar
changes for similar reasons to different parts of a Bill don’t each have to be
debated separately). Another is so that two or more amendments which offer
alternative ways of addressing the same matter can be debated together. The list
of Groupings sets out how amendments are to be grouped and therefore which
amendments will be debated together.

The list groups amendments (referred to by their number) under particular
headings. The heading may help you identify the general subject matter of those
amendments. Sometimes an amendment might be debated on its own, because it
deals with a different issue from any other amendment. The list of Groupings also
sets out when debates on particular groupings should be concluded. These time
limits are agreed to by the Parliament in advance of stage 3 proceedings in order
to ensure that the timetable for the whole day’s business is adhered to.


                                                     Stage 3 explanatory leaflet June 2005
Following the consideration of amendments
We hope that having these three documents will help you to follow today’s Stage
3 business. Please note that because of the Presiding Officer’s power to group
amendments, the order in which amendments are debated may not always follow
the order in which they are being formally decided upon – so following the debate
may sometimes involve jumping between the Groupings and the Marshalled List.
For example, the first group might include an amendment that appears near the
end of the Marshalled List. That amendment will be debated early on but not
decided upon until much later.

Unless time is limited, in every debate on a group, the Presiding Officer will call to
speak every member who has lodged an amendment in that group, and will try to
find time to call other members wishing to take part. The first member called in a
debate on a group (the person who lodged the first amendment in that group) will
usually have the chance to sum up the debate. As it is a key principle that each
amendment should only be debated once, after an amendment in a group has
been debated, no opportunity to debate it again will arise when it comes to be
decided upon.

Debate on whether the Bill be passed
After all amendments have been dealt with, the next step is for the Parliament to
debate whether the Bill should be passed. The debate, which normally lasts
around 30 to 40 minutes, is on the merits of the Bill as a whole, rather than on
particular amendments to it. The member in charge of the Bill (who will be the
relevant Executive minister if it is an Executive Bill) will have an opportunity to
speak, as will the main party spokespeople and, if time allows, other members.

The Parliament will then be asked whether the Bill is agreed to at Decision Time
(normally at 5pm). The Bill will become an Act approximately one month after
being passed, when it receives Royal Assent (although some or all of the Act may
not come into force until later still).

Your views
Please help us improve our practices by answering the following short questions
and handing the completed sheet over to any member of staff:

   1         Did this leaflet help you to understand the debate?


Not at all      A little    It was quite helpful        It was very helpful

   2         Did having the other documents help you understand the debate?


Not at all      A little    It was quite helpful        It was very helpful

   3         Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

								
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