Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Lawyers! Pah!

There was me, feeling smug having proven that Iain Gray told a lie in his very first speech as Labour leader, followed closely by the Tories (as always), and up pops a lawyer at 50 guineas an hour to tell me:
A full five minutes of research has yielded the following:

It could be argued that the first piece of devolved legislation was the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 (SSI 1/1999) signed into law by Sarah Boyack on 8 July 1999, which was laid before Parliament on 9th July and came into force on 1st August.

However, the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (No 2) Order 1999, S.S.I. 1999/3, although made on 9th July and laid before Parliament on 13th July actually came into force at 5 pm on 9th July - surely that must be the first devolved piece of legislation? It was signed into law, I'm not kidding, by J R Wildgoose, Assistant Secretary, a member of staff of the Scottish Ministers.

SSI 1999/2 doesn't seem ever to have become law.

So there you have it - the name on the first piece of legislation to pass under devolution wasn't Iain Gray but JR Wildgoose. I doff my cap, m'Lord!

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