HC Deb 06 November 2001 vol 374 cc97-8
24. John Robertson (Glasgow, Anniesland)

How many Bills in the Scottish Parliament the Advocate-General has sought to amend since May. [10333]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Dr. Lynda Clark)

Since May. eight Bills have been passed. My legal officials and I considered those Bills during the various procedural stages. If necessary, informal discussions took place about competence issues, to try to resolve them without the use of my powers under section 33 of the Scotland Act 1998 to refer the matter to the Privy Council. Amendments are the responsibility of Members of the Scottish Parliament.

John Robertson

My hon. and learned Friend will be aware that the Scottish Parliament has now passed the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001. Does the fact that she did not refer that Bill to the Privy Council mean that she will intervene to support that important Scottish legislation if it is challenged in the Scottish courts?

The Advocate-General

That is certainly possible. I intervened to support Scottish Parliament legislation when the Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 1999 was challenged. Any challenge to the 2001 Act intimated to me as a devolution issue will be carefully considered on its merits.

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