This 2009 publication was the first book about the new Scottish Parliament. It brought together a distinguished group of parliamentarians, commentators and academics to review the achievements, limits and challenges of the new Scottish Parliament after its first ten years.
The Scottish Parliament 1999-2009: The First Decade is a collection of essays by leading figures edited by Professors Charlie Jeffery and James Mitchell. In reviewing the first 10 years of the new Parliament’s existence, across a wide range of topics, the book tackled key questions including:
- To what extent have the founding principles for the Scottish Parliament set out by the Consultative Steering Group been delivered - access and participation, equal opportunities, accountability and power-sharing?
- Has the Parliament changed how politics is done in Scotland?
- Has the Parliament matured into an effective legislative body?
- Have relationships between government, the Parliament and outside stakeholders in local government, interest groups and quangos been improved?
- What’s the view from Westminster?
- How does the Scottish Parliament fit into the UK’s changing constitutional architecture?
Table of contents
- Foreword Alex Fergusson MSP, Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament
- Chapter 1 Introduction: The First Decade in Perspective Emma Megaughin and Charlie Jeffery
- The Parliament in Practice
- Chapter 2 A Dozen Differences of Devolution Lord Steel of Aikwood
- Chapter 3 Committees in the Scottish Parliament Chris Carman and Mark Shephard
- Chapter 4 The Legislative Process: The Parliament in Practice James Johnston
- Chapter 5 The New Scottish Statute Book: The Scottish Parliament’s Legislative Record since 1999 Michael Keating and Paul Cairney
- The Founding Principles
- Chapter 6 Access and Participation: Aiming High Bill Thomson
- Chapter 7 Travelling the Distance? Equal Opportunities and the Scottish Parliament Fiona Mackay
- Chapter 8 Parliamentary Accountability: Aspiration or Reality? Chris Himsworth
- Chapter 9 The Principle of Power-Sharing, 10 Years On Joyce McMillan
- Representative Process
- Chapter 10 The Scottish Parliament Electoral System: Can Credibility be Restored? Nicola McEwen
- Chapter 11 New Parliament, New Elections James Mitchell and Robert Johns
- Chapter 12 Do Devolved Elections Work? John Curtice
- Chapter 13 Conundrums and Contradictions: What Scotland Wants David McCrone
- Chapter 14 New Scottish Parliament, Same Old Interest Group Politics? Paul Cairney, Darren Halpin and Grant Jordan
- Chapter 15 Civil Society and the Parliament Lindsay Paterson
- Chapter 16 The Media and Parliament Brian McNair
- Chapter 17 Centre and Locality in Scottish Politics: From Bi- to Tri-partite Relations Neil McGarvey
- Chapter 18 Quangos, Agencies and the Scottish Parliament Richard Parry
- The View from Elsewhere
- Chapter 19 The Scottish Parliament as seen from London Peter Riddell
- Chapter 20 Opening Doors: Devolution in Wales and the Scottish Parliament, 1999-2009 Alan Trench
- Chapter 21 The Scottish Parliament, Constitutional Change and the UK’s Haphazard Union Charlie Jeffery
Enjoy reading this? Please consider sharing it
The end of the transition period is likely to expose even more fully the scope of the policy-making that the government can carry out via Statutory Instruments, as it uses its new powers to develop post-Brexit law. However, there are few signs yet of a wish to reform delegated legislation scrutiny, on the part of government or the necessary coalition of MPs.
Parliament’s role around the end of the Brexit transition and conclusion of the EU future relationship treaty is a constitutional failure to properly scrutinise the executive and the law. As the UK moves to do things differently after 1 January, MPs must do more to ensure they can better discharge their responsibilities regarding the making of UK treaties.
The EU (Future Relationship) Bill is to be considered by both Houses in just one sitting day. How unusual is such an expedited timetable and how much time will parliamentarians really have to look at the Bill? How will MPs participate in proceedings given Covid-19 restrictions? And how will proceedings, particularly the amendment process, work on the day?
The debate about remote participation in House of Commons proceedings raises critical questions about what constitutes a ‘good parliamentarian’, what ‘fair’ participation looks like, and who gets to decide. As things stand, the exclusion from much parliamentary business of pregnant women, among others, undermines equality of political representation.
The Coronavirus pandemic has added to the questions surrounding the nature of the Parliament that should emerge from the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal programme. But, with concerns over the programme’s governance and public engagement rising, the report arising from the current review of the programme will not now be published this year.
Disputed parliamentary election results – often taking months to resolve – were a frequent feature of English political culture before the reforms of the 19th century. But how could defeated candidates protest the result of an election, and how were such disputes resolved?