A Hybrid Bill is a Public Bill which adversely affects a particular interest of a person or a body in a way that is different to the interests of other people or bodies in the same category or class. Hybrid Bills generally relate to development projects and the use of land. This type of Bill could seek to authorise the construction or alteration of works or to authorise the compulsory acquisition or use of any land or buildings.
For example, the only Hybrid Bill so far considered was to authorise the building of a new crossing for the River Forth by the Scottish Government and affected people and bodies near the proposed crossing in different ways.
Hybrid Bills are subject to a three-Stage parliamentary process during which some MSPs take part as members of the committee and all MSPs can take part in proceedings in the Debating Chamber. A Hybrid Bill Committee of between three and five MSPs is established to consider each Hybrid Bill.
- Stage 1: Committee consideration of the general principles of the Bill and whether the Bill should proceed as a Hybrid Bill and preliminary consideration of objections; Parliament debate on general principles and whether a Bill should proceed.
- Stage 2: Committee consideration of the details of the Bill, including amendments and all remaining objections.
- Stage 3: Parliament’s consideration of amendments to the Bill and a decision whether to pass or reject it.
Hybrid Bills are different to other Public Bills in that they involve measures which affect the private interests of individuals or bodies, and to which those affected may object. The role of the Parliament is to consider the Bill and to arbitrate between the Scottish Government, for example, and objectors. Objectors that participate in the process are given ongoing procedural guidance and assistance by the clerks in the Non-Government Bills Unit.
The procedures for Hybrid Bills were debated and agreed by the Parliament on 25 June 2009. Details of the debate can be found in the Official Report and the procedures are set out in the Standing Orders of the Parliament. Further information about the Hybrid Bill process can be obtained from the Guidance on Hybrid Bills or by contacting the Non-Government Bills Unit on 0131 348 6124.