The Scottish Parliament, is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyrood.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 local government council areas.
The Parliament is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament, elected for four-year terms under the additional member system: 73 MSPs represent individual geographical constituencies elected by the plurality system, while a further 56 are returned from eight additional member regions, each electing seven MSPs.
The Additional Member System, also known as mixed-member proportional representation outside of the United Kingdom is a hybrid two-tier mixed-member system which varies in proportionality.
The most recent general election to the Parliament was held on 5 May 2016, with the Scottish National Party winning a plurality.
The original Parliament of Scotland was the national legislature of the independent Kingdom of Scotland, and existed from the early 13th century until the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from the 10th century—when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms—until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Kingdom of Scotland was a state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843, which joined with the Kingdom of England to form a unified Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.
The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland.
As a consequence, both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England ceased to exist, and the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London was formed.
Westminster is an area of central London within the City of Westminster, part of the West End, on the north bank of the River Thames.
Following a referendum in 1997, in which the Scottish electorate voted for devolution, the current Parliament was convened by the Scotland Act 1998, which sets out its powers as a devolved legislature.
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been decentralized to it by the central government.
Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level.
The Act delineates the legislative competence of the Parliament – the areas in which it can make laws – by explicitly specifying powers that are "reserved" to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the UK Parliament or British Parliament, is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories.
The Scottish Parliament has the power to legislate in all areas that are not explicitly reserved to Westminster.
The British Parliament retains the ability to amend the terms of reference of the Scottish Parliament, and can extend or reduce the areas in which it can make laws.
The first meeting of the new Parliament took place on 12 May 1999.