Scotland´s Independence Project

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Scotland´s Independence Project

Johanna Ross, from

In order to pursue independence therefore, Scotland has to think outside of the box (Particularly as all it is requesting initially, is another referendum, not outright independence). Instead of operating within the boundaries of UK law, it should be looking instead to international law, and following the example of other break-away republics, like Kosovo for example. When Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008 it was done without Belgrade’s agreement. And although the US and UK argued at the time that its secession did not provide a legal precedent due to the unique circumstances of ethnic conflict which Kosovo found itself in, it has triggered a debate ever since about whether other states can follow Serbia’s example. It has been said by Professor Christopher Greenwood, former judge at the International Court of Justice that in fact:

“Everything that States do constitutes a precedent for the future, because the nature of customary international law is that it is derived from State practice and the assertion by States of a legal right or their acknowledgement of a legal obligation”.

And herein lies the point.

The Scottish case differs of course from the Kosovan, but each case of secession would, by default, have its own specific circumstances. Just as the Kosovo case was unique, so is the Scottish.  Therefore a new approach is required. Scotland has its own history as an independent country for hundreds of years before the Union, for example. A new way of thinking needs to be applied to carving out Scotland’s future. It will be a waste of time to try to establish independence within the parameters of domestic UK law. It’s time to understand that if the rules don’t fit, they ought to be rewritten.