February 1, 2023

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A gender claim, the London government forbids Scots law. Edinburgh authorities rise up: “Anger we will resume”

London. It’s a law that would make life easier for transgender people in Scotland, but Rishi Sunak’s Conservative British government wants to block it: Gender Recognition Actthe law recently passed in the Scottish Parliament, must not be passed.

Born at the initiative of the Independence and Progressive National Executive of Edinburgh, it seeks to de facto liberalize in the Northern Country the correct registration of documents for transgender persons (also for minors over the age of 16) through the simple registration of the person concerned with a private register. But the Minister for Scottish Affairs in London, Alistair JackOn the basis of constitutional doubts as to the general framework of UK law, you will benefit from the prohibiting powers of Scots law reserved by Section 35 of the UK Central Government Devolution Act 1998.

A choice that was denounced by the Edinburgh authorities, led by the first minister and leader of the pro-independence SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, as “outrage” at the democratic will of the Scots. They announced their appeal to the supreme court of the kingdom.

The Scottish prime minister warned London, adding that his government was ready to “vigorously” defend its powers up to the UK’s highest court. The impending impasse over the law is straining already strained relations between London and the Scottish government, less than two months after the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) thwarted its efforts to hold a new referendum on the SNP by the UK. Supreme court. ‘Independence.

«We will defend the law in the Supreme CourtIf necessary, announce. The Scottish First Minister said “what I can say in general is that we will absolutely, vigorously, sternly and with a very high degree of confidence we will defend the legislation”.

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So the Sunak government would have decided to prevent the law from being passed before the Wednesday deadline expires. Under devolution rules, which led to the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, London can block a law if ministers believe it would have a “negative effect on the working” of UK law as a whole. In particular, according to Alastair Jack, Britain’s Secretary of State for Scotland, who will take legal steps on Tuesday to confirm the move, there is a risk that the bill will “The negative impact» on equal opportunity legislation across the UK.

“I decided to issue an order pursuant to Article 35 of the Scotland Law The 1998 Act prevented the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Bill from proceeding to Royal Assent,” Jack said. deserving of “respect, support and understanding”, his decision was based on the legal implications. “I have not taken this decision lightly. The bill will have a significant impact on, among other things, equal opportunity issues in Scotland, England and Wales. So I have concluded that this is the necessary and correct course of action.” “.

But what does Article 35 of Scotland Law? The UK government can take legal action to prevent royal assent to a Bill if the Secretary of State “has reasonable grounds to believe that it would be inconsistent with any international obligation or with defense or national security interests, or if it changes legislation the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe is It could adversely affect the application of the law to reserved matters.” If Snack goes ahead with blocking the law, as he announced today, he will become the first Downing Street head of government to use the blocking mechanism.

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