Bills Explained

A Bill is a draft law. Bills are either:

  • public - seeking to change the general law, or
  • private - seeking powers for a particular individual or organisation that are in excess of or in conflict with the general law

Public Bills can be introduced by:

  • a member of the Scottish Government (a “Government Bill”)
  • a parliamentary committee (a “Committee Bill”), or
  • an individual member of Parliament (a "Member’s Bill”)

Where a public bill includes provisions similar in nature to those of a private bill, it is referred to as a hybrid bill.  A hybrid bill may only be introduced by a member of the Scottish Government.

For general information on Bills and the legislative process please contact the Legislation Team.

Parliament Chamber Desks

Understanding the Legislative Process

A quick reference guide to the legislative process.

Parliament and Calrton Hill at Night

Private Bills

A Private Bill is introduced by a promoter, who may be a person, a company or a group of people, for the purpose of obtaining particular powers or benefits that are in addition to, or in conflict with, the general law.

Canongate Entrance at Night

Hybrid Bills

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.

Garden Lobby

Public, Private & Hybrid Bills Guidance

The procedures and requirements for processing Bills through the Scottish Parliament.