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Category: News


Published: 03 August 2022

Application submitted on behalf of the Scottish National Party in the reference by the Lord Advocate to the UK Supreme Court on the question of the legality of the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill

In response to the Lord Advocate’s reference to the Supreme Court seeking a determination on the legislative competence of the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, a team led by Livingstone Brown’s Managing Director, Stuart Munro, has been instructed to act on behalf of the Scottish National Party to apply for permission to intervene in the Lord Advocate’s reference. Instructed counsel are Claire Mitchell QC and David Welsh, advocate.

The application submits that the SNP should be permitted to intervene in the Lord Advocate’s reference as an established political party or ‘official body’ with a particular public interest in the proceedings and that allowing submissions to made on behalf of the party would be of assistance to the court.

The application refers to the SNP’s political standing in Scotland, particularly on the issue of Scottish independence, and focuses on the fundamental and inalienable right of the Scottish people to exercise self-determination (as recognised under international law) such that the relevant provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 should be interpreted in a way which upholds that right. It is the party’s position that the Scottish Parliament has the necessary devolved power to hold a second referendum on the issue of independence. The application also explicitly recognises that the holding of such referendum does not, in itself, implement the result of that referendum; rather, the referendum would be ‘consultative’ in nature.

The application will now be determined by the UK Supreme Court, and if permission is granted, a written case will be submitted on behalf of the SNP.  The hearing of the case is provisionally scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 October 2022.

The full application is available to view on the SNP website: The SNP’s Supreme Court application on the independence referendum — Scottish National Party

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