Building a New Scotland: Creating a modern constitution for an independent Scotland

This paper sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals for a written constitution that puts democracy, rights and equality at the heart of everything we do as an independent country.

What our proposals would mean for you

The powers of independence would enable Scotland to put in place a modern, written constitution for Scotland, that clearly sets out and safeguards fundamental values, human rights and equality protections, as well as the key institutions necessary as an independent democratic state. This paper sets out how the current Scottish Government proposes to use those powers to create a constitution for an independent Scotland.

The proposals in this paper enable you to see:

  • what could be included in a written constitution for an independent Scotland, including:
    • the key features of Scotland's democracy – the Scottish Parliament, the courts, and government bodies
    • recognition of the NHS in Scotland
    • human rights and equality protections, including the right to access a system of health care free at the point of need, the right to strike, and full protection of children's rights
  • how people in Scotland could help shape Scotland's constitutional future, with the opportunity to be part of a Constitutional Convention, as well as contributing to the development of Scotland's new written constitution through the wider national conversation
  • how people in Scotland would be able to vote on adopting the permanent written constitution, through a referendum on a new constitution
  • how people in Scotland could hold future governments of an independent Scotland to account and ensure that they are required to uphold key human rights and equality protections
  • how people in Scotland could exercise their constitutional rights in an independent Scotland, ensuring these rights would be protected and that there would be remedies in place if rights were breached



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