Constitutional Conventions & Commissions

A ‘Con-Con’ is used to create or amend a constitution. A commission is sometimes used to prepare for a convention. Since the famous Philadelphia Convention in 1789, the US has held around 230 State constitutional conventions. Elsewhere more than 100 new democracies have been created in the last 35 years – currently about 20 constitutions are created or amended each year often using conventions. Many of these are ratified by referendum.

The Scottish Government has promised a constitutional convention if it wins the referendum. There is a possibility that a narrow rejection of Independence might lead to a UK or a Northern Constitutional Convention as the UK Government tries to fulfill its promise of ‘more powers’ to Scotland. The Commons Political & Const.Select Committee is conducting an Inquiry on a UK Convention. Ireland has a Con-Con working in Dublin to amend its constitution. Earlier there was the EU Convention and the Scottish Constitutional Convention. (The UK lacks a written constitution though the law seems to accept that the Devolution Acts have created a partial one.)

This section looks at the three phases – preparation for a convention, its conduct and subsequent ratification.The average duration is 17 months but varies greatly.

The Scottish Constitution After Independence

This article suggests at least one referendum to approve the new Constitution should Scotland vote for independence. Given the prior constitutional use  in 1975 when Scotland voted to join the EU against expectations. Then the 1979 failed referendum for a Scottish Assembly plus a double referendum in Orkney and Shetland preserving their place in the […]

Independence: ‘Scots could see second referendum’ – and a third

This Scotsman report that Gordon Wilson is proposing a second referendum on the euro and other matters, reminds me there is yet another issue requiring a referendum. The Scottish Government recently proposed that after a YES vote, a Scottish Constitutional Convention would draft a new constitution for Scotland. At some point this would have to […]

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