Saturday, February 11, 2012

Scottish academia versus UK Law Lords

Interesting piece in the Herald today. Thanks for the link Alasdair MacKenzie.
What we have, in essence, is the academia of Scotland firing a shot over the bow of the Law Lords of the UK and telling them to mind their own business. The interventions of the UK government, under David Cameron, in saying that the referendum, which is a consultative referendum and not legally binding, according to the UK government, and should have no authority to legality under the terms and conditions laid out at the formation of the Scottish parliament. The legal problem that the UK has is that there is now the reconvened Scottish parliament but no reconvened English parliament. Therefore, when the treaty was signed at the Union of the Parliaments only one of the original national signatories is now present; Scotland. It is, therefore within the right of the Scottish Parliament to decide whether they should dissolve the treaty of the Union of the Parliaments. England can't do that because they don't have a parliament; there is no English parliament. So, leaving aside all the legal talk about whether the referendum will be legal or not under UK law, Scotland is now in a situation where we can ignore the wants of the UK parliament as it has no legal authority to interfere in the legal workings of the Scottish parliament.
The 'squaring up' of Scottish academia to the UK Law Lords is just the opening shot in this particular political sideshow. The trouble with bringing Law Lords into the the political arena is they have a tendency to review how the law should be interpreted. Sometimes it's better to let the old sleeping dogs lie. The above opening shot over the UK's bows should be taken that the Scottish Law big wigs will not take London's interference in Scottish legal affairs lying down. It will be interesting to hear what the senior Judges in Scotland think


  1. This must be linked Attorney General blocks release of devolution papers because things will of been said showing how vulnerable they are.

    1. When it comes to 'fairness' the UK government can't even find its definition in the dictionary. I suspect Labour are more frightened at losing the Scottish Labour MPs than the Tories are at losing us. I suspect that there are a lot of Labour sphincters tweaking at the prospect of not being able to have their fair share of power in the UK parliament if/when Scotland secedes from the Union.

  2. Gedguy

    Your lack of knowledge on the British constitution is only matched by your lack of knowledge on the Scottish constitution.

    There is no Scottish parliament only a devolved assembly with limited and conditional powers the only way for there ever to be a Sovereign Scottish Parliament.
    Is a negotiated separation from the United Kingdom or a armed uprising forcing the United Kingdom to grant Independence.

  3. Interesting conundrum. Does the Scottish parliament currently assembled, mean the Scottish parliament or is it some parish council dreamed up by Blair the First.

    Frankly I would have thought the latter, but if the cream of the legal intelligentsia of Scotland thinks otherwise, then I'm prepared to admit defeat on the grounds of utter ignorance before the first round.

    The important thing being that law lords can say what they want, but if these experts on Scots law get the bit between their teeth, they will know where to go with it...

    And, whether they be unionists or nationalists their intellectual curiosity will make them follow the evidence to the end, regardless of the outcome.

    Interesting times.

    1. Interesting times indeed, Tris. I believe it was Winnie Ewing who declared that the parliament has been reconvened. Like you I thought that we only had limited powers but when the parliament 'reconvened' then, and only then, was the moment that the UK parliament had no authority to interfere in the workings of our parliament. Even the Unionist politicians have stopped calling the Scottish government and 'executive'.

  4. Niko,

    You can say: 'devolved assembly' as much as you like. Under international law we have our parliament reconvened. Everything else you imply is just wishful thinking. The end game is in sight.