The Constitutional Regulation of Scottish Secession

17 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2015

See all articles by Nicholas W. Barber

Nicholas W. Barber

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 12, 2015


The paper considers how secession referendums should be regulated after the Scottish independence vote. It examines the problems and benefits raised by secession rights. It is argued that Scotland’s right to secede should be recognised in law, but the frequency of these referendums should be limited. Having considered the capacity of the Scottish Parliament to call for and regulate referendums, it is argued that the Scottish Parliament should be given the power to call a binding referendum, but only after thirty years have elapsed since the last vote. This restriction should be coupled with a mechanism allowing an early vote in exceptional circumstances: a super-majority could call an early referendum.

Keywords: secession, Scotland

Suggested Citation

Barber, Nicholas W., The Constitutional Regulation of Scottish Secession (June 12, 2015). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 38/2015, Available at SSRN: or

Nicholas W. Barber (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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