From Greenland to Svalbard: Scotland’s quest for a differentiated Brexit

On 20 December 2016, the Scottish Government released its blueprint on how Scotland can remain in the European Single Market post-Brexit. From the governing SNP’s point of view, the paper can be seen as a compromise given that it does not advocate Scottish independence. Instead, it proposes that the best outcome for the UK as a whole is to remain in the European Economic Agreement following the ‘Norway model’. It recognises, however, that in the current political constellation this seems unlikely. So, it argues for the continued membership of Scotland in the European Single Market.

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Scotland, Catalonia and the Constitutional Taboo of Secession

The UK constitution does not allow Scotland to unilaterally secede in the case of Brexit – in that respect its situation is not unlike Catalonia’s. Given the political nature of the UK uncodified constitution, it is almost unthinkable that a similar judicialisation of politics will occur in the UK as it did in Spain. However, unless Westminster takes seriously into account the demands of the devolved administrations in the Brexit negotiations, there is a real danger that a serious constitutional stalemate will occur.

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Völkerrecht und Sezessionen – Legitimität nur für Einigungswillige?

Katalonien, Schottland, Krim, Québec – Sezessionismus ist in diesen Tagen wieder einmal ein sehr aktuelles Phänomen, und das nicht nur in Europa. Um so mehr wächst das Bedürfnis danach, sezessionistische Bestrebungen völkerrechtlich und damit nach internationalen Standards zu bewerten. Doch bei der Frage, ob bzw. wann Sezessionen legitim sind, betreibt das Völkerrecht eine Art Versteckspiel mit Verfassungsrecht und Politik. Weder statuiert es ein ausdrückliches Recht auf Sezession noch verbietet es dieselbe, sondern überlässt es grundsätzlich dem jeweiligen nationalen Verfassungsrecht, ihre Rechtmäßigkeit zu beurteilen. Lässt uns also das Völkerrecht mit dem Sezessionismus völlig alleine? Eine Antwort auf diese Frage gab diese Woche Andreas Paulus, Richter im Ersten Senat des Bundesverfassungsgerichts und Völkerrechtsprofessor in Göttingen, in einem Vortrag vor dem Wissenschaftlichen Dienst des Bundestages.

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"The key to the solution lies in Spain, not in Catalonia"

Why did the territorial conflict between separatist Catalonia and the Spanish central government escalate so badly? What is at stake in a country historically ridden by civil war and separatist terrorism? What needs to be done to resolve the conflict, and by whom? In an interview with Verfassungsblog, Benito Aláez Corral, constitutional law professor from Oviedo, explains how the Spanish constitution needs to be amended to satisfy the demand for national self-determination in Catalonia and maintain the constitutional integrity of Spain.

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