Scottish Constitutional Convention

Scottish Constitutional Convention

The Scottish Constitutional Convention (SCC) was association of Scottish political parties, churches and other civic groups, that developed a framework for a Scottish devolution. It is credited as having paved the way for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

The Convention was established after prominent Scottish individuals signed the Claim of Right in 1988. The Claim of Right asserted that Scotland is a nation, is constitutionally entitled to determine the best framework of government to suit its people, and demanded that the country should have its own legislative body within the framework of the United Kingdom.

The Claim of Right and the idea of a Constitutional Convention grew out of the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly (CSA), a pressure group established in the aftermath of the failure to secure a devolved Scottish Assembly in 1979. The CSA was an organisation of individuals committed to some form of Home Rule for Scotland that by the late 1980s came to argue that a convention was the way forward to secure this.

Various organisations participated in the Convention, such as the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Small Business Federation, the Church of Scotland, as well as the other major churches, and other various bodies representing other strands of political opinion as well as civic society in general. Initially the Scottish National Party (SNP) participated, but the then party leader Gordon Wilson, along with Jim Sillars decided to withdraw the SNP from participation owing to the convention's unwillingness to discuss Scottish independence as a constitutional option.

The Conservative government of the day were very hostile to the convention and challenged the local authorities' right to finance the convention, although the courts found that they were in fact entitled to do so.

Under its executive chairman, Canon Kenyon Wright, the convention published its blueprint for devolution, "Scotland's Parliament, Scotland's Right", on 30 November 1995, St Andrew's Day. This provided the basis for the structure of the existent Scottish Parliament, established in 1999.

ee also

*Scotland referendum, 1997
*Scotland Forward

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