Constitution Committee to question former Lord top Scottish judge on impact of Scottish Independence

11 February 2014


The House of Lords Constitution Committee will tomorrow hold its first evidence session in its inquiry into the constitutional implications for the rest of the UK of Scottish independence. The Committee will open the inquiry by taking evidence from Lord Hope of Craighead and Professor Iain McLean.

Lord Hope of Craighead was Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General—Scotland’s highest judge—before becoming a Law Lord then the first Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court between 2009–2013. Professor McLean is Professor of Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and is an expert on devolution and constitutional reform. 

Areas the Committee are likely to cover with the witnesses include:

  • What legal principles should govern negotiations for Scottish independence in the event of a “yes” vote?
  • Is the timetable of independence by March 2016 realistic? What impact will the timing of the UK general election in May 2015 have on this timetable?
  • What legal measures would be needed to allow negotiations to take place?
  • Who would negotiate for the remainder of the UK and to whom should they be accountable?
  • What would happen if the two negotiating teams could not agree on an issue?
  • What would be the status of the 59 MPs for Scottish constituencies in 2015–16?
  • What impact would Scottish independence have on the work and membership of the UK Supreme Court?

The evidence session will start at 10.30am on Wednesday 12 February in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

T
he session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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