The Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum is a joint initiative of academics across the law schools of the Scottish universities. 

It seeks to provide an independent framework within which the key questions concerning Scotland's constitutional future can be aired and addressed.


The forum's main aims are to:

  • MAP the present constitutional debate by identifying and addressing the wide range of questions which have to be answered if Scotland's future is to be considered in a measured and comprehensive manner;
  • INFORM the debate by providing expert evidence, analysis and opinion from the Scottish legal academic community and beyond; and
  • ENGAGE in the debate by encouraging the participation of a wide range of groups and interests in a constitutional process the success of which depends on the breadth and depth of public involvement.

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The Scottish Independence Referendum: Constitutional and Political Implications

The Scottish Independence Referendum: Constitutional and Political Implications was published by Oxford University Press in June. The book was edited by Aileen McHarg, Tom Mullen, Alan Page and Neil Walker, founder members of the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum, and contains a range of essays by distinguished public lawyers, political scientists, economists and historians - many of whom contributed to the Forum's events and blog.  

The book provides a systematic, academic analysis of the referendum and its aftermath. The chapters evaluate the historical events leading up to the referendum, the referendum process, and the key issues arising from the referendum debate. They also explore the implications of the referendum both for the future governance of Scotland and for the UK's territorial constitution, drawing on comparative experience in order to understand how the constitution may evolve, and how the independence debate may play out in future.

An open access version of Chapter 14 of the book - Andrew Tickell, "The Technical Jekyll and the Political Hyde: the Constitutional Law and Politics of Scotland's Independence 'Neverendum'" - is now available, along with a blog post written by Tom Mullen to accompany the publication of the book. 

Forthcoming Events

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Tom Mullen: A Tale of Two Referendums

One of the consequences of the vote for ‘Brexit’ in the EU referendum on 23rd June has been to focus renewed attention on the Scottish question. In this blog I want to look both forward, to the possibility of a second independence referendum, and backward, to compare the EU referendum with the Scottish independence referendum of 2014.

Neil Walker: In, Out or In-Between? Rebooting Britain-in-Europe after the 'Brexit' Referendum

Referendums are supposed to provide decisive interventions in the affairs of state. They are designed to produce clear ‘yes or no’ answers to large political questions.  And as these answers also come with a rare level of popular endorsement, this should facilitate their effective and timely implementation.

Tom Mullen and Sarah Craig: The Immigration Act 2016, Reserved Matters and the Sewel Convention: a Reply

This is a reply to Iain Jamieson’s post  which was itself a response to a post of ours discussing the  significant changes to Scots landlord and tenant law contained in provisions of the ( then) Immigration Bill. Royal Assent to the Immigration Act 2016 (c.19)( the 2016 Act) has since been granted, and so the way is clear for the provisions under discussion to be implemented. Iain Jamieson’s post proceeds on the assumption that we consider that the enactment of these provisions without the consent of the Scottish Parliament constitutes a breach of the Sewel convention as currently understood.