SNP legal challenge to any refusal of indyref2 would ‘likely fail’

Nicola Sturgeon

A legal challenge by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to the blocking of a second independence referendum would likely fail, according to a legal academic, The Times reports.

Ms Sturgeon said this week that she was considering “all options” in response to a question about a potential legal challenge if Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to power with a majority and rejects her request, which he has pledged to do.

Alan Page, a professor of public law at Dundee University, said that any court battle against Downing Street would likely fail as the decision is political rather than legal.

“I wouldn’t expect a challenge to the refusal to grant a section 30 order to succeed, assuming that that was what the first minister meant,” he said.

“Alternatively, she may have meant that, ‘contrary to what I’ve accepted, it may be that we don’t need a section 30 order, only a court can tell us’, which was the argument before the Edinburgh agreement — that the Scottish parliament didn’t require Westminster’s permission to hold an independence referendum.

“No doubt both arguments would be run together but I wouldn’t expect that one to succeed either.”

Tags: independence

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