⇒ The Acts of Union 1706 and 1707 led to the creation of the United Kingdom
⇒ The Scotland Act 1978 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to establish a Scottish Assembly as a devolved legislature for Scotland.
⇒ A referendum was later held in 1997 about Scottish devolution
⇒ The 1997 referendum asked two questions:
⇒ Scotland voted by a large majority in favour of both
⇒ The following year, the Westminster Parliament enacted the Scotland Act 1998 providing for a Scottish Parliament and a ‘Scottish Executive’. Note: Scotland has enjoyed its own courts and legal system for centuries
⇒ On a similar basis to the Northern Ireland Act, the Scotland Act conveys ‘devolved’ legislative competences to the Parliament, whilst ‘reserving’ certain matters to the exclusive domain of Westminster
⇒ Reserved matters (schedule 5) cannot be devolved i.e. only Westminster Parliament can legislate on reserved matters. Reserved matters include the constitution, foreign affairs, civil service, defence and the funding and registration of political parties
⇒ Devolved powers include education, health, agriculture, tourism, economic developing, and housing policy
⇒ S28 Scotland Act 1998 enables Scotland to make primary law. (i.e. Acts of Parliament). Section 29 states that the law the Scottish parliament does make:
⇒ S30 Scotland Act 1998 states that “schedule 5 (the reserved matters) shall have effect” unless the sovereign makes an order in counsel which is considered “necessary or expedient”
⇒ Imperial Tobacco v Lord Advocate  states that statutes that emerge from devolved legislatures (i.e. the Scottish parliament) should be interpreted in the same way as statutes that emerge from the Westminster Parliament
⇒ The Scottish National Party (SNP) currently enjoys a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament following the 2011 election. In their manifesto commitment, the SNP stated its intention to hold a referendum on full Scottish independence
⇒ The referendum (held in 2014) was intended to give Scotland full sovereignty
⇒ There was a question of whether or not the Scottish Parliament has the power to hold such a referendum:
⇒ The UK government was not against the referendum and a compromise based on s30 of the Scotland Act was reached
⇒ On 14 November 2013, the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 was enacted to allow a referendum on Scottish Independence in September 2014
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⇒ Nothing in the Scotland Act or any other Act prevents the Westminster Parliament legislating on matters devolved to Scotland
⇒ Indeed, it may be convenient (for both Scotland and the rest of the UK) for the Westminster Parliament to legislate for all of the UK
⇒ The “Sewel convention” requires that the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought in such circumstances
⇒ A 1997 referendum asked one question only with respect to Wales: “do you agree that there should be a Welsh Assembly?”
⇒ The Government of Wales Act 1998 established the Welsh Assembly
⇒ The Government of Wales Act 2006:
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