University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Professor James Crawford Provides Opinion on the International Law Aspects of the Referendum on the Independence of Scotland

Posted on Monday 11th February 2013.

Scottish IndependenceThe Government has today published a major analysis paper on the implications of Scottish independence: "Scotland Analysis: Devolution and the Implications of Scottish Independence".  The paper annexes an Opinion written by Professor James Crawford along with Professor Alan Boyle of the University of Edinburgh, entitled 'Opinion: Referendum on the Independence of Scotland – International Law Aspects'.

The Opinion concludes that if Scotland becomes independent following a 'yes' vote in the referendum in 2014, it will be considered a new state as a matter of international law and the remainder of the UK will continue the legal identity of the UK and retain its existing institutions generally uninterrupted. It rejects the alternative possibility that Scotland and the remainder of the UK will both be considered new states. The Opinion also concludes that one consequence of this is that the remainder of the UK will continue its membership of international organisations, whereas Scotland will have to join many of them as a new state. In particular, Scotland will have to join the EU as a new member state.

The UK Government is relying on the Opinion to present its position on some of the consequences of Scottish independence.

Professor Crawford was interviewed on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 on 11th February.  See further coverage on the BBC and the Guardian.

Image courtesy of the Guardian.

Faculty of Law