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Lords Committee to question leading academics on the draft clauses for a future Scotland Bill


The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week take evidence from two leading academics as part of its scrutiny of the draft clauses of a future Scotland Bill.

The Committee will question Professor Michael Keating, Director of the Economic and Social Research Centre on Constitutional Change, and Dr Mark Elliott, Reader of Public Law, University of Cambridge.

Areas the session will cover include:

  • The constitutional changes set out in the Smith Commission Command Paper and whether these have received sufficient consultation and scrutiny.
  • Whether, given the ‘Vow' made by the UK leaders of the main unionist parties, Parliament will be able properly to scrutinise and amend provisions in a Scotland Bill after the general election.
  • The potential impact on the UK as a whole of the new devolution settlement proposed by the Smith Commission, and whether devolution should proceed on a pan-UK or nation-by-nation basis.
  • The impact of stating the Scottish Parliament and Government's permanence in legislation and of putting the Sewel Convention on a statutory basis.
  • The potential impact of lowering the voting age in Scottish Parliament and local government elections on the voting age in other elections across the UK.
  • Changes that should be made to the structure and practice of inter-governmental relations in light of recent and proposed changes to the devolution settlements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The evidence session will start at 11:00am on Wednesday 4 February in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

The 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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