DEVOLUTION SETTLEMENT PREVENTS THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT FROM PROTECTING RIGHTS OF SCOTLAND’S CHILDREN
Today, the Supreme Court has ruled that certain parts of Bills passed unanimously by Holyrood to enshrine the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. Specifically, keystone Scottish legislation passed by Westminster before 1999 on matters now devolved will no longer be subject to UNCRC.
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie commented:
“This ruling today makes evident that Scotland’s parliament does not have the powers it needs to protect our children’s rights. Instead, it is in the hands of the Tory government at Westminster.
“The same Tory government that is scrapping the £20 uplift on Universal Credit, ripping money from the pockets of the poorest and most vulnerable families in Scotland.
“We cannot trust the Tories to protect the people of Scotland. The growing anti-Scottish sentiment in Westminster and the lack of respect for devolution demonstrates the urgent need for independence.”
Deputy First Minister, John Swinney also commented:
“While we fully respect the court’s judgment, it lays bare the weakness of, and the limits in, the devolution settlement. The ruling means it is outwith the power of the Scottish Parliament to pass legislation it considers necessary to fully ensure the rights of Scotland’s children are protected.
“The UNCRC Bill was created to deliver a revolution in children’s rights, making sure children and young people are involved in decisions that affect their lives. The Bill was backed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament and celebrated as a landmark by campaigners across the country.
“The European Charter of Local Self-Government Bill strengthens local government by incorporating the Charter into Scots law. Starting as a Member’s Bill, it, too, was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament and it was supported by local government and COSLA.
“Today’s judgment will require careful consideration. I will update Parliament further later today, but one thing is already crystal clear: the devolution settlement does not give Scotland the powers it needs.”