16 January 2013
The Constitutional Commission welcomes the following statement made by First Minister Alex Salmond on 16 January 2013. This is a clear endorsement by the Scottish Government of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland and also its commitment to establish a modern, fair and progressive democracy in Scotland.
“Following a yes vote in 2014, the first independent Scottish parliament will be elected in May 2016. One of the first, most fundamental and exciting tasks of that parliament will be to establish the process for Scotland’s first written constitution through a constitutional convention.
“We will make it one of the first duties of the parliament of an independent Scotland to establish a convention to draw up that written constitution. And we will return to our older constitutional tradition of the people’s sovereignty, by making sure the people are directly involved in that process.
“Scotland’s constitutional convention will provide an opportunity for everyone to express their views. All political parties will be involved, together with the wider public and civic Scotland.
“In an independent Scotland we will move to a more transparent, democratic and effective system of government – one designed by the people of Scotland, for the people of Scotland.
“In doing so, we will make Scotland’s constitution an early signal of how the people of Scotland will use the powers of independence – to take our place as a good global citizen, to protect and affirm the values we hold dear, and to create a fairer and more prosperous nation.”
Welcoming the announcement, Canon Kenyon Wright, the President of the Constitutional Commission, said:
“A Constitution defines and safeguards the values and character of the nation, as a participative democracy based on social justice, equal law, and the sharing of power. It profoundly affects the lives of all who live in Scotland. It must express the self-understanding of the new Scotland, and define Scotland as a modern democracy.
“It will be an opportunity for Scotland to demonstrate the long tradition in Scotland of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, as expressed in the Claim of Right. It is absolutely right that the Scottish Parliament – in partnership with the wider Scottish society and the people of Scotland – should be tasked with taking forward the written constitution to show that all of Scotland would be united around it.”