MSPs have agreed to try and fix an incompetent Bill after the UK Supreme Court ruled it exceeded Holyrood’s powers.

In a first for devolution, the Scottish Parliament will “reconsider” the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) Bill.

The legislation is intended to improve children’s rights by embedding the UNCRC into Scots law, putting a duty on devolved public bodies not to act in a way that is incompatible with it.

It also allows for children, young people and their representatives to use the courts to enforce their rights.

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Holyrood law found to be incompatible with UNCRC can also be struck down.

The Parliament passed the Bill unanimously in March 2021, despite the UK Government  warning sections strayed into reserved issues and asking for changes.

Then deputy First Minister John Swinney called the UK Government’s actions “menacing” and refused to amend the legislation.

The UK Government then referred it to the Supreme Court, which ruled four sections went beyond the parliament’s legislative competence, as the Scotland Office had predicted.

More than 700 days later, and amid growing complaints about a lack of action, Scottish ministers today asked MSPs to agree to reconsider the UNCRC Bill.

MSPs agreed unanimously to do so, meaning the Scottish Government and individual MSPs are free to table amendments to the Bill to help bring it within competence.

The process is expected to take until the end of the year, and the amended Bill could yet be referred back to the Supreme Court if Westminster objects to the changes.

Asking MSPs to approve reconsideration, Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said she wanted the revised Bill to protect children’s rights to the maximum effective extent, avoid a second referral to the Supreme Court, and be as accessible as possible for users.

She said the loss of coverage of children’s rights was “disappointing” compared to the Bill’s original ambition, but the revisions would see the maximum coverage under devolution.

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It would also "send a signal abut the kind of country we want to be", she said.

“Our priority is to provide the greatest protection that we can to children’s rights.

“The amendments that will now be considered will ensure that the Bill protects children’s rights in the most effective way within our devolved powers.

“This is an important milestone in ensuring that we are a country that fully respects, protects and fulfils children’s rights.

"However, without the political commitment of the UK Government to legislate for children’s rights we are limited in what we can achieve.

“The simplest way to secure the greatest protection for children’s rights would be for our counterparts in Westminster to incorporate the UNCRC into UK law.”

Tory Roz McCall welcomed the UNCRC coming into Scots law, but criticised the SNP for using the Bill’s referral to the Supreme Court to attack the UK Government, and then taking more than 700 days after the court’s ruling to bring it back to Holyrood for corrections.

She said: “The truth is that instead of making the necessary changes to the Bill, the SNP have deliberately provoked grievance, politicising children’s rights, and I find that abhorrent.”

Labour’s Martin Whitefield also accused the Scottish Government of repeated “secrecy” since the court ruling, with ministers refusing to share the details of their plans.

Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said he hoped that changes to the Bill were not delayed on “the altar of grievance” as part of a constitutional fight.