The Scottish Government has published the interim constitution for Scotland should independence be achieved in September.
The first part deals with the bill itself, so the constitution is off by one in articles
2. Sovereignty of the people
In Scotland, the people are sovereign
3. The nature of the people’s sovereignty
State power deriving from the people. Accountability but no mention of how – right of recall etc.
4. Interim constitution for Scotland
That this constitution will be in place until Section 33 has taken place.
5. Name of the State
Scotland. No surprise and obviously doesn’t include any superfluous, usually incorrect titles.
6. The territory of Scotland
at formed the territory of Scotland immediately before Independence Day.
Given the change in sea boundaries up past Carnoustie, this leaves a bit of a gap should Westminster try any dirty tricks.
7. Form of State and government
(1) Scotland is an independent, constitutional monarchy.
Doesn’t seem like this is valid, given Section 2 says that the people are sovereign. How can you then have a sovereign?
8. National flag and anthem
Not quite sure why the Parliament could choose the national anthem. Perhaps in case of some online poll abuse or troll attempt to pick Ricky Martin or something.
9. Head of State
(1)Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is to be Head of State, as Queen.
Fuck right off. What’s the point of campaigning for greater democracy then handing state power over to an unelected monarch.
The Parliament can change laws, and is subject to the constitution. Not sure yet how amendments are made then?
The Government has Executive power. All normal stuff.
12. State accountability to the people
The Government, Parliament and their members are accountable to the people. No mechanism for this is found. Surely something better than
hope people vote them out in 4 years
13. Independence of the judiciary
Judiciary being independent from the parliament.
14. Supreme Court
States the Supreme Court would only be overturnable by European Court of Human Rights (etc) should we be a member of them.
15. The rule of law
We have laws. Seems weird that this appears after 13 and 14.
16. The Scottish civil service
There will be one. Pretty standard stuff.
17. Local government
There will be a layer of local government. Not groundbreaking.
18. Scottish citizenship
Every single person in Scotland with existing UK citizenship will be entitled to Scottish citizenship.
19. International relations and foreign policy
Respect international laws, promote peace etc.
20. International organisations
Try to join existing organisations we are members of, presumably everything from NATO and the EU to the International Olympic Committee.
21. Ratification of international agreements
Scottish Parliament must sign off on international agreements
22. Incorporation of international agreements
How international law interacts with Scots Law.
23. Nuclear disarmament
Fuck off Trident
24. Incorporation of European law
EU law interacting with Scots Law
25. European citizenship
Scots citizens are EU citizens. 24 and 25 do seem to depend on Scotland being in the EU.
26. Respect for human rights
Comply with European Convention on Human Rights
27. References to the European Convention on Human Rights
How it interacts with Scots Law.
Every person is equal before the law in relation to
age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.
29. Children’s wellbeing
Children are those under the age of 18, the State must support children.
30. Island communities
Take in account that Island life is different from mainland life.
31. The environment
Conserve different species and tackle Climate Change
32. Natural resources
Use our natural resources sustainably.
33. Provision for a permanent constitution
A Convention to be set up but no details yet of how and who’s involved. I would obviously be in favour of everyone.
34. Continuity of laws
The laws currently in force will stay after independence day until they are changed/repealed
35. Repeal of the Act of Union
Repeal of the Act of Union 1707. Hopefully a section here can be added for the Repeal of Union of the Crowns 1603
Timeline for sections of this document coming into force.
37. Short title
Scottish Independence Act 2015
A few great sections, lots of legalese boilerplate and space for changes to be made. Overall seems alright if not very inspiring. My biggest concern would be the lack of detail over who will be involved in drafting the proper constitution. Having said that it’s not a deal-breaker, becoming a country with a Constitution is more important than staying as one of the three without one.