Scotland Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 21st March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Liberal Democrat 3:45 pm, 21st March 2016

My Lords, it may be stretching the tolerance of the House for a fifth Scottish lawyer to join in this discussion, so I will confine myself to two issues. The first is Pepper v Hart. It is well worth understanding just how limited the application of that doctrine may be. If the noble and learned Lord the Advocate-General is looking for an illustration of the approach recently taken by the Court of Session, he will find it in the case of British Petroleum v Edinburgh and Glasgow licensing boards.

Secondly, this is about the most political piece of legislation that one could possibly imagine. Within its terms is the opportunity for great political disagreement. It seems to me that the way in which the Government are now proceeding will in some respects justify that disagreement by leaving open an important porthole for those who wish to challenge the will of this House and indeed of the other place.