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Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Chapter one: Defining the constitution
  3. Chapter two: Parliamentary sovereignty
  4. Chapter three: The rule of law and the separation of powers
  5. Chapter four: The royal prerogative
  6. Chapter five: The House of Commons
  7. Chapter six: The House of Lords
  8. Chapter seven: The electoral system
  9. Chapter eight: Parliamentary privilege
  10. Chapter nine: Constitutional conventions
  11. Chapter ten: Local government
  12. Chapter eleven: Parliamentary sovereignty within the European Union
  13. Chapter twelve: The governance of Scotland and Wales
    1. The Scotland Act 1998 s.1; s.28; s.29; s.101
    2. The Sewel Convention House of Lords Debates 21 July 1998 c. 791
    3. Martin v Most [2010] UKSC 10; 2010 SC (UKSC) 40
    4. AXA General Insurance v The Lord Advocate [2011] UKSC 46; [2012] 1 AC 868
    5. Imperial Tobacco v Lord Advocate [2012] UKSC 61; 2013 SC (UKSC) 153
  14. Chapter thirteen: Substantive grounds of judicial review 1: illegality, irrationality and proportionality
  15. Chapter fourteen: Procedural grounds of judicial review
  16. Chapter fifteen: Challenging governmental decisions: the process
  17. Chapter sixteen: Locus standi
  18. Chapter seventeen: Human rights I: Traditional perspectives
  19. Chapter eighteen: Human rights II: Emergent principles
  20. Chapter nineteen: Human rights III: New substantive grounds of review
  21. Chapter twenty: Human rights IV: The Human Rights Act 1998
  22. Chapter twenty-one: Human rights V: The impact of The Human Rights Act 1998
  23. Chapter twenty-two: Human rights VI: Governmental powers of arrest and detention
  24. Chapter twenty-three: Leaving the European Union

The Sewel Convention House of Lords Debates 21 July 1998 c. 791

Clause 27 [of the bill; s.28 of the Act] makes it clear that the devolution of legislative competence to the Scottish parliament does not affect the ability of Westminster to legislate for Scotland even in relation to devolved matters. Indeed, as paragraph 4.4 of the White Paper explained, we envisage that there could be instances where it would be more convenient for legislation on devolved matters to be passed by the United Kingdom Parliament. However, as happened in Northern Ireland earlier in the century, we would expect a convention to be established that Westminster would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish parliament.

If problems do arise the solution is for the Scottish executive and the United Kingdom Government to resolve the matter through political dialogue. That is what differences between mature parliaments and executives will be concerned with. That is what happens in other political systems. I cannot believe that it is beyond our wit to develop such a convention. That is much more suitable than through the business of legislative ping-pong or tennis. If this Parliament thought the situation had got to a stage of total impasse, it would be possible to look again at the Bill and enact primary legislation affecting the reserved matters. That is the ultimate route. There should be mature political dialogue to resolve a difference, which is better than legislative tennis. If an impasse results there is the ultimate fallback position of looking at Schedule 5 and changing the devolved powers.

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