International Law on Self-Determination, and Scotland



The SNP built its submission to the Supreme Court around an appeal to the International Law on self-determination. However, this element of International Law is not intended to apply to democracies, or to justify the fracture of democratic States!


(Pic: AFFG at our Great British Union Day Rally, George Square, Glasgow, 1-5-21.)


Scottish nationalists often make reference to Scotland's supposed "right of self-determination under International Law".


For example, the UN "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" was signed by the UK in 1976.


Article 1.1 states:


"All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."


The SNP's submission to the United Kingdom Supreme Court in September 2022 was based upon this point and quoted that article; as if Scotland is somehow denied "the right of self-determination", the right to "freely determine our political status", and the right to "freely pursue our economic, social and cultural development." (You can find its submission at tinyurl.com/efxauu6h )


Clearly a supposed denial of self-determination does not apply to a country which self-determined in 2014 to stay in the UK; and subsequently self-determined in the General Elections of 2015, and 2017, and 2019 to send representatives to, and to participate in, the British Parliament; and which self-determined as part of the UK electorate in 2016 to leave the EU; and which even has a devolved Parliament to further exercise political self-determination.


The Example of Canada

Fundamentally, the International Law which upholds the right of self-determination is referring to people without democratic means to pursue their political life.


Furthermore, this legal matter has already been considered, and adjudicated upon, in the Anglosphere.