The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

UK Government takes Holyrood to Supreme Court over rights bill


The UK Government has confirmed it is taking Holyrood to the Supreme Court over a Bill that aimed to enshrine United Nations children’s rights in Scotland.

The constituti­onal row follows the unanimous passing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the Scottish Parliament on March 16.

The convention makes it unlawful for public authoritie­s to act against its requiremen­ts.

The UK Government has argued that parts of it would contravene the devolved settlement by constraini­ng Westminste­r from passing some laws in Scotland.

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon branded the move “jaw dropping”, claiming it was “politicall­y catastroph­ic, but also morally repugnant”.

Westminste­r raised similar concerns about the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporat­ion) (Scotland) Bill, which was put forward by independen­t MSP Andy Wightman and also passed unanimousl­y.

It is understood that the UK Government suggested amendments to the UNCRC Bill but they were rejected.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack previously told Deputy First Minister John Swinney that he would use the four-week period, from the passage of the Bill in Holyrood until it received royal assent, to decide whether it should be blocked or referred to the Supreme Court.

It has now been confirmed that the matter will be sent to the UK’s highest court for a ruling.

A UK Government spokeswoma­n said: “UK Government law officers have today referred two bills from the Scottish Parliament to the Supreme Court under Section 33 of the Scotland Act 1998.

“The UK Government law officers’ concerns are not about the substance of the legislatio­n, rather whether parts are outwith the legislativ­e competence of the Scottish Parliament.”

Mr Swinney previously accused Mr Jack of writing “menacing” letters and claimed Holyrood’s powers were under “sustained assault”.

 ??  ?? RULING: Nicola Sturgeon called move morally repugnant.
RULING: Nicola Sturgeon called move morally repugnant.

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