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Devolution and its Jurisdictional Asymmetries

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The devolution of legislative and executive powers to the different parts of the United Kingdom has meant that, because of the asymmetric arrangements made, there has been an increase in policy divergence from one part to another. Some of this has been intended, some unintended. With reference, in particular, to Scotland and Wales this article focuses on the asymmetric consequences of devolution which derive specifically from the jurisdictional or ‘legal system’ differences across the United Kingdom. These affect the conditions under which law-making powers may be devolved, the ‘management’ of devolution and the rights enjoyed by citizens. It is argued that the devolution of ‘legal system’ competence carries with it problems quite different from those associated with the devolution of other powers.
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Keywords: Constitution; Scotland; devolution; jurisdiction; legal system; rights

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Edinburgh

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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