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.

Latest News

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Challenge on the Environment to the Referendum Campaigns

Several months ago the umbrella environment group Scottish Environment Link put up on its website a 10 point referendum challenge.  The 'Better Together' responses to the 10 challenges have just been added and the responses from the 'Yes' campaign are promised for 23 September 2013.

 

Royal Society of Edinburgh/British Academy: Enlightening the Constitutional Debate

The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Academy are holding a series of ten events entitled Enlightening the Constitutional Debate. Please see the Royal Society's website for further details.

Forthcoming Events

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Scotland's Referendum: a View from Outwith Scotland

Public lecture by Professor Anthony King.

 

100 Days to Go: Four Nations and a Union

A round table event to consider the implications of the referendum and its outcome from the perspectives of the United Kingdom and its four constituent nations.

Latest Blog Posts

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Stephen Thomson: Constitutional Codification in an Independent Scotland - Is It Really Necessary?

The stated ambition of the Scottish Government is for an independent Scotland to be regulated by a central constitutional text; a “written constitution”.  That was declared in its white paper of February 2013 ('Scotland's Future:  from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution') and further elaborated in its white paper of November 2013 ('Scotland's Future:  Your Guide to an Independent Scotland').  The prevalent view seems to be that a constitutional code is necessary in the event of independence.  That is, however, an assumption, and one that I seek to challenge.

 

Stephen Tierney: Constituting Scotland: a Retreat from Politics?

The Scottish Government has recently announced its intention to introduce a draft Scottish Independence Bill into the Scottish Parliament which will set out an interim constitution for Scotland in the event of a Yes vote in September’s referendum. It will also describe the process by which a permanent written constitution will be drafted following the Scottish Parliament elections in 2016.

 

Paul Cairney: What is the Future of Scotland's Political System?

Referendums on constitutional change in Scotland produce ‘windows of opportunity’ to discuss the future of Scottish politics and policymaking. For example, the Scottish Constitutional Convention – an organization comprising political parties, interest groups, civic and religious leaders – formed in 1989 to promote the principle, and operation, of devolved government. It set much of the agenda during the devolution debates in the 1990s, promoting ‘new politics’, or widespread reform based on a rejection of political practices in ‘old Westminster’.