Building a New Scotland: Justice in an independent Scotland

This paper sets out the Scottish Government's vision for justice in an independent Scotland.

What our proposals mean for Scotland

An independent Scotland would continue our long tradition of delivering effective justice – a reputation of which we are rightly proud – as set out in the Vision for Justice in Scotland.[1] Independence would mean we are able to take all the decisions required to provide a just, safe, resilient Scotland for all our communities and that currently reserved policy and operational decisions are all taken within Scotland. This would create opportunities for more focused and creative action on some of the most challenging issues facing our society such as drugs,[2] gambling,[3] and organised crime,[4] with decisions attuned to Scotland’s specific circumstances and needs.

The proposals in this paper would allow Scotland to:

  • build on the strong institutions of justice in Scotland, expanding these to cover the full range of functions needed to provide effective access to justice in an independent Scotland
  • build on the public health approach to violence reduction[5] and expand this into currently reserved areas like drug policy reform
  • bring together policy and operational expertise to tackle major global threats, including terrorism and cyber crime, in a way that focuses on the specific challenges facing Scotland
  • give our police and prosecutors access to tools to pursue criminals across borders which were lost following Brexit,[6] such as European Arrest Warrants, which are essential to give victims justice and combat sophisticated criminal networks
  • develop the security and intelligence capability needed to combat sophisticated threats from terrorism and cyber attacks, in cooperation with international partners



Back to top