The UK’s highest court docket is ready to ship its judgment on whether or not the Scottish Parliament can legislate for a second independence referendum.
A panel of 5 justices is anticipated to ship its resolution at 9.45am on Wednesday.
The case was delivered to the court docket after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out plans to carry a second vote on independence on October 19, 2023.
The Scottish Authorities’s high legislation officer, the Lord Advocate, requested the court docket to rule on whether or not Holyrood has competence to legislate for the vote.
Throughout a two-day listening to in October, Dorothy Bain KC mentioned resolving the legality of the proposed Scottish Independence Referendum Bill is a “critically essential query”.
She mentioned she wouldn’t be capable to “clear” the introduction of the Invoice herself with out the court docket’s ruling.
Ms Bain mentioned the difficulty had been “festering” because the early days of devolution.
The UK Authorities’s consultant, Sir James Eadie KC, argued the Invoice “squarely and immediately” pertains to a matter reserved to Westminster – the union between Scotland and England.
He additionally argued the Invoice is at too early a stage for the court docket to difficulty a ruling on, saying the query of the Invoice’s competence shouldn’t be “farmed out” to the Supreme Court.
The court docket will firstly tackle whether or not it is going to decide the “reference” from the Lord Advocate, earlier than turning to the query of whether or not the Invoice pertains to a reserved difficulty.
In the course of the two-day listening to, Supreme Court docket president Lord Reed advised the court docket it will be “some months” earlier than the judgment was handed down.
Forward of the ruling, a Scottish Authorities spokeswoman mentioned: “There’s a substantial majority within the Scottish Parliament in favour of an independence referendum and due to this fact a transparent democratic mandate.
“Nonetheless, because the First Minister has set out, there stays debate over whether or not the Scottish Parliament has the powers to legislate to carry a referendum.
“The Lord Advocate’s reference of this query to the Supreme Court docket was meant to attain authorized readability on this level.
“We’re conscious a judgment will likely be handed down by the court docket and ministers will reply shortly thereafter.”