The Constitutional Commission is a charity registered in Scotland for the promotion of democratic citizenship and for constitutional education and research, founded in 2005 by John Drummond (former Convenor of the Independence Convention) and Kenyon Wright (former Convenor of the Scottish Constitutional Convention).
The work of the Constitutional Commission starts from three axioms. Firstly, that legitimate sovereignty in Scotland resides in the “whole community of the realm”, and not in the Queen-in-Parliament at Westminster. Secondly, that a written and entrenched Constitution, endorsed by the whole community, guaranteeing the rights of citizens, and delimiting the powers, duties and responsibilities of the institutions of State, is necessary in order to establish the right relationship between the State and the people in a liberal democracy. Thirdly, that liberal democracy cannot exist merely in procedural terms, but must be sustained by civic, humane and democratic values.
At a time when independence, fiscal autonomy, and other options are on the agenda in Scotland, we aim to understand the constitutional options available, to appreciate their nuances and their consequences, and to make recommendations which would improve the quality of our democratic life. We also seek to monitor institutional changes at the UK level from a Scottish perspective and to understand their effect on Scotland.
Scotland lacks constitutional literacy. The constitutional debate in Scotland is bitterly partisan, short-sighted, and ill-informed – hardly idea conditions for bringing about a lasting democratic solution. The Constitutional Commission seeks to bring together academics from several disciplines, politicians from all parties, civic organisations, and members of the public from all walks of life, in order to increase constitutional literacy, to digest research, and to deliberate and reflect on constitutional options.
Promotion of Citizenship
The Constitutional Commission promotes democratic citizenship by highlighting the connection between a sound constitutional structure, effective democratic practices, and beneficial policy outcomes which serve the common good. We aim to promote understanding of the roles and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic Scotland.
Are you partisan?
The Constitutional Commission is a non-partisan, non-profit-making, non-sectarian, organisation. We are not funded by or beholden to any political party, nor do we endorse any political party.
Are you pro-independence?
Although we share a view that the current devolved arrangements are illogical and unsustainable, and that the case for independence bears serious consideration, the Constitutional Commission does not collectively take a stance on independence. Our foundation is the right of the Scottish people to determine our own constitutional future and our desire is to promote the constitutional and civic-democratic government of Scotland; whether that be in the form of an independent Scottish State or in the form of a revised union is up to the people of Scotland to decide.