The Scottish Constitution

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This chapter is about the Scottish constitution following devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1999. Like the constitutions of the other devolved nations, and the constituent polities of many federal and regional states, the Scottish constitution is what is commonly referred to as a ‘subnational constitution’, a description which should not be taken to imply that Scotland is anything less than a nation. It is also a constitution in the ‘unwritten’ or, more accurately, uncodified Westminster tradition - a small-c constitution rather than a capital-C Constitution (King 2007: 5). Rather than being set out in ‘a comprehensive written statement called a constitution’ (Ontario (AG) v Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union 1987: 37, Beetz J), it is to be found in a mixture of statutes - the most important of which is the Scotland Act 1998, which established the legislative and executive institutions of devolved government - judicial decisions, constitutional conventions, i.e. non-legal rules of political behaviour, and soft law instruments. After examining the constitution’s main features, as derived from these sources, the chapter turns to the attempts that were made to entrench the devolution settlement on which the constitution is based following the No vote in the 2014 independence referendum, and the ‘interim constitution’ that would have replaced it had Scotland voted Yes. The chapter begins with Scotland’s constitutional arrangements as they stood before devolution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics
EditorsMichael Keating, Craig McAngus
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter8
ISBN (Print)9780198825098
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Publication series

NameOxford Handbook
PublisherOxford University Press

Fingerprint

constitution
decentralization
political behavior
referendum
statute
public service
voter
act
employee
Law

Cite this

Page, A. (Accepted/In press). The Scottish Constitution. In M. Keating, & C. McAngus (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics (Oxford Handbook). Oxford University Press.
Page, Alan. / The Scottish Constitution. The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. editor / Michael Keating ; Craig McAngus. Oxford University Press, 2020. (Oxford Handbook).
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Page, A 2020, The Scottish Constitution. in M Keating & C McAngus (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. Oxford Handbook, Oxford University Press.

The Scottish Constitution. / Page, Alan.

The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. ed. / Michael Keating; Craig McAngus. Oxford University Press, 2020. (Oxford Handbook).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Page A. The Scottish Constitution. In Keating M, McAngus C, editors, The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. Oxford University Press. 2020. (Oxford Handbook).