Yes or no, Scotland referendum carries significant constitutional implications

Following the Edinburgh Agreement (in which the UK Government agreed to devolve the power to hold the referendum to the Scottish Government through a section 30 Order passed by the UK Parliament) the statutory framework for the referendum process has now been largely agreed by the Scottish Parliament and legislated for in the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013 and the soon to be enacted Scottish Independence Referendum Bill which passed Stage 2 of the legislation process in the Scottish Parliament on 10 October 2013.
 
According to the policy memorandum of the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, the main objective of the legislation is for the referendum “to be (and to be seen to be) a fair, open and truly democratic process which is conducted and regulated to the highest international standards.” The legitimacy of the referendum process can help engender legitimacy in the outcome of the referendum. It has been argued in recent research (Constitutional Referendums) that the legitimacy of a referendum’s process can be measured against deliberative democracy benchmarks and international standards.
 
Read the rest of the piece at Democratic Audit.

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Stephen Tierney's picture
post by Stephen Tierney
University of Edinburgh
22nd November 2013
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