On 28 May 2003 the First Minister announced the initial legislative programme for the second Scottish Parliament, consisting of fourteen Bills altogether.  These include Bills on NHS reform, medical, water and fire services, nature conservation, education and school meals.  Amongst the Bills of particular relevance to the legal system are ones on vulnerable witnesses, court reform (to improve the efficiency of the High Court of Justiciary), anti-social behaviour,  and local governance.  Also announced were consultations on legislation to deal with the modernisation of personal bankruptcy and diligence laws, securing the status of Gaelic, and to improve the transport infrastructure.


Jack McConnell was sworn in as First Minister on 20 May 2003, and shortly afterwards named his Cabinet.  Jim Wallace (LibDem), the Deputy First Minister, moves from Justice to take over at Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (where his remit will include the universities), while Cathy Jamieson (Labour), formerly Education, replaces Wallace at Justice.  The Law Officers, Colin Boyd (Lord Advocate) and Eilish Angiolini (Solicitor General), continue in post.


As in the early days of May 2003 the Labour and Liberal Democrat teams negotiated their coalition to run Scotland for the next four years , MSPs from the smaller parties announced their plans for Bills to be laid before the Scottish Parliament.  Patrick Harvie (Greens) will propose the introduction of registered civil partnerships, to include homosexual as well as heterosexual couples, while Rosie Kane (Scottish Socialist Party) wants free school meals. 14 May 2003