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Energy Policy and Constitutional Change

18 January 2013 - University of Strathclyde, Collins Building, Main Lecture Theatre (1.30 pm - 5.30 pm)

Scotland's rich energy resources – oil and gas, and now renewables – have played an important role in the economic and political case for greater autonomy.  The Scottish Government and Parliament currently have only limited legal powers in relation to energy policy, but will gain full domestic legal competence in the event of independence.  Even if independence is rejected, energy is likely to be a prime candidate for further devolution if, as promised, the terms of the current devolution settlement are revised.

Greater autonomy brings with it the prospect of greater policy differentiation – and indeed the Scottish Government already pursues distinctive energy policy goals.  However, how meaningful is autonomy in a world of inter-connected energy markets, and in which domestic energy policy is increasingly constrained by supranational obligations?  

This half-day seminar explores these issues, examining the significance of energy policy in the constitutional debate, and the potential impact of constitutional change in different energy sectors, drawing upon experience of negotiating energy autonomy and interdependence in other small, European nations.


Greg Gordon, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Aberdeen

Paul Gorecki, Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland

Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law, University of Strathclyde

John Paterson, Professor of Law, University of Aberdeen

Anita Rønne, Associate Professor in Energy Law, University of Copenhagen

David Wilson, Energy and Climate Change Directorate, Scottish Government

The seminar will be followed by a reception.

To register for this event, please contact

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