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It is at present uncertain whether the Sewel convention, which has now been put on a statutory footing by s. 2 of the Scotland Act 2016, will fall to be interpreted by a court in the same way as any other statutory provision (see my earlier post here). It is therefore opportune to consider how it might be interpreted.
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.
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 ...