International Law, the Scottish Independence Debate and Political Settlement in the UK

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Abstract / Description of output

This chapter examines the role that international law played in the Scottish independence debates. I argue that international law - perhaps surprisingly - played a central role. International law was used by both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns in strategically instrumental ways, to bolster their political claims as to the consequences of independence. The unusual centrality of international law to British constitutional debate signals just how important international law has become with respect to processes of political settlement globally. I suggest that the creation of an international law of polity formation is itself a fast-moving international legal development, illustrating a dynamic whereby the attempt to regulate polity formation by reference to international legal argument carries an extraordinary capacity to reshape international law. I suggest that this was the case with the Scottish independence referendum.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Scottish Independence Referendum
Subtitle of host publicationConstitutional and Political Implications
EditorsAileen McHarg, Tom Mullen, Alan Page, Neil Walker
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780198755524
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2016

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