The Constitution Unit


Devolution in Scotland

The Constitution Unit has been closely involved from the start with devolution in Scotland.  One of our earliest reports in 1996 was Scotland's Parliament, which recommended a reserved powers model for Scotland (unlike the Scotland Act 1978); this was adopted in the Scotland Act 1998. We then did more detailed design work for the Scottish Parliament advisory group in 1998, on Checks and Balances in Single Chamber Parliaments, Part 1 and Part 2. This was followed by an Audit of the First Year of the Scottish Parliament (2001), and an assessment of its achievements at the end of its first term (2003).

In 2004 we produced a report on Coalition Government in Scotland and Wales, and in 2005 a study of the local work of Scottish MPs and MSPs. The first ten years of Scottish devolution are recorded in detail in the Scottish series of Devolution Monitoring Reports, 1999-2005 and 2006-09.

In 2002 we published a book on Scottish Independence: A Practical Guide, which recommended a second referendum on the terms of independence once they had been negotiated. After the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, we forecast different scenarios for Scotland and the UK in Devolution and the Future of the Union (2015).