Welcome

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.

Aims

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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Iain Jamieson: Putting the Sewel Convention on a Statutory Footing

The way in which the UK Government has given effect in section 2 of the Scotland Act 2016 to the recommendation of the Smith Commission that the Sewel convention should be put on a statutory footing gives rise to a number of difficult constitutional questions for the Scottish and UK Parliaments and Governments and the courts. 

Tom Mullen and Sarah Craig: The Immigration Bill, Reserved Matters and the Sewel Convention

The Immigration Bill, which received its third reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday of this week (12/04/16), is a wide-ranging measure, running to 98 sections and 15 schedules ostensibly designed to make immigration control more effective. It included measures on, inter alia, the labour market, residential tenancies, bank accounts, driving licences and taxi licensing, enforcement powers of immigration officers, immigration detention and bail, and transfer of support for migrant children. The Immigration Bill and its precursor, the Immigration Act 2014, are of interest to constitutional lawyers for several reasons. This blog concentrates on one particular issue: the intrusions made by the Bill, and the 2014 Act which it amends, into the devolved competence of the Scottish Parliament ...

Mike Gordon: The Permanence of Devolution: Parliamentary Sovereignty and Referendum Requirements

On 18th September 2015, the anniversary of the referendum on Scottish Independence, David Cameron announced that the UK Government plans to amend and strengthen the Scotland Bill currently progressing through the UK Parliament, to make ‘crystal clear’ that ‘Scottish devolution is woven into the very fabric of our United Kingdom’.  This amendment would be designed to ensure ‘there is absolutely no doubt: Holyrood is here to stay’.