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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Stephen Tierney: Is a Federal Britain Now Inevitable?

The Smith Commission Report issued today promises a restructuring of the United Kingdom which may prove to be more significant than the devolution settlement of 1997-98 itself; the acquisition of extensive tax and welfare powers would make Scotland one of themost autonomous regions in western Europe.

Christine Bell: Separation or Sharing? The Critical Choice for the Union (and Smith)

The critical choice for the Smith Commission and any subsequent political negotiations over devolution in Scotland and beyond, is between a Union based on a rationale of separation, where ‘sharing’ of power across the UK at Westminster will require to be justified on an on-going basis in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy; or a Union based on a rationale of sharing, which views the Union as existing because it encapsulates and can protect a set of common baseline values to which constituent parts of the Union subscribe to and have a stake in. 


Alan Page: It's Not Just About the Scottish Parliament's Powers ...

The Scottish Parliament was not just about ‘the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs.’ It was also about the subjection of the government of Scotland to democratic scrutiny and control. ‘The Scottish Government will be much more accountable to the Scottish Parliament than the [UK] Government is to the Parliament at Westminster.’