Public Law

The Brodies Public Law team haven’t been short of bed-time reading material on the independence debate for quite some time now. The arguments for and against have been well rehearsed already. However, in the run-up to the big vote on 18 September, we think there’s no harm in updates that offer a summary of the key issues at stake.

Two such items were published last week. The first was a House of Lords Library Note providing broad discussion of some of the main issues raised in connection with the referendum. It is at least intended to be impartial and non-partisan, and is split into four key areas: possible constitutional changes, economic impact, defence and security, and health and education. The section on constitutional change includes an overview of the “interim constitution” for Scotland, which the Scottish Government published on 16 June 2014 (and on which we will be commenting shortly). And if that’s not enough for you, the note lists sources of further reading.

As an aside, the House of Lords on 24 June debated the constitutional future of Scotland in light of the independence referendum. Coverage of the debate (including a live recording) is available here.

The second recent item is the sixteenth and final paper in the UK Government’s Scotland Analysis programme, summarising the programme’s findings on matters such as currency, business and jobs, the affordability of public services, personal finances and Scotland’s place in the world. All the earlier papers in the series are available here (regular readers will recall our posts on the papers on energy and currency).

On the other side of the debate, the Scottish Government’s own (even more numerous) publications and analyses on independence are collated here.


Gemma McKinlay

Associate at Brodies LLP
Gemma is a senior solicitor in Brodies market-leading Public Law & Regulatory team in. She advises on a range of public law and commercial issues.  Her specific areas of practice expertise include powers and duties of local and central government, statutory interpretation, equality and human rights, data protection and freedom of information laws.
Gemma McKinlay