Supreme Court case on which judgement has been delivered on 23rd November: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

I write in regard to the Supreme Court case on which judgement has been delivered today, about whether the Scottish Parliament can hold an independence referendum without Westminster’s approval.

What were the legal costs of this case to the Scottish Government and/or the Scottish National Party?


Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government website. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. However, in the interests of being helpful, we have provided links to the relevant material below:

Independence referendum Supreme Court referral: legal costs - (

The spending on the Lord Advocate’s reference to the Supreme Court as published on 22 September 2022 was on external legal fees. An additional £350 has been spent on Supreme Court filing fees.

As set out in our responses to PQ S6W-09691 (available at S6W-09691 | Scottish Parliament Website) and PQ S6W-11576, the Scottish Government intends to proactively publish information about the costs of the litigation and will be publishing updated costs of the reference, including a breakdown of them, in December. Accordingly, an exemption under Section 27 (information intended for future publication) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption allows public authorities to refuse to disclose information if they already plan to publish it within the next 12 weeks. The reasons why this exemption applies are set out in Annex B.

Regarding the legal costs of this case to the Scottish National Party, the SNP is a separate organisation to the Scottish Government. Therefore, this is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

Annex B - 202200331639


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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