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The Scottish independence referendum: an international law perspective



Staff, Students, Academics

Speaker: Dr Jure Vidmar

Series: International Law and Affairs Group (ILAG) seminars

There are no universally-applicable procedural standards at independence referendums. However, in comparative practice a minimum requirement has emerged for clarity of both the winning majority and referendum question. In this paper, I argue that Scotland could become a state with the lowest popular support in international practice should Scots vote for independence, yet this would not compromise the legitimacy of the vote. Even the referendum question is exemplarily clear, textually. However, the possibility of a referendum on the UK's exit from the EU complicates the matter. I argue that with independence Scotland would prima facie also exit the EU, unless negotiated otherwise. But now Scots do not know whether a vote for the UK is also a vote for the EU. Given the complexity of the EU legal order, Scots have a right to know whether, at least in the near future, the alternative to independence is the UK in or outside of the EU. If the two referendums fall too close to each other, the clarity of the independence referendum could be unduly compromised.

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When and where

1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 12th March 2014

AG02 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

Contact Details

Dr Ioannis Kalpouzos

Lecturer in Law

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom
020 7040 4122

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