Scoville Units Unite

25 Jun

Interim Constitution for Scotland

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

Fantabulous.

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

It’s 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.

10. Legislature

The Parliament can change laws, and is subject to the constitution. Not sure yet how amendments are made then?

11. Executive

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.

28. Equality

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

36. Commencement

Timeline for sections of this document coming into force.

37. Short title

Call this 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.

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