Skip to main content

Reference by the Lord Advocate to the Supreme Court

Reference by the Lord Advocate to the Supreme Court

28 June 2022

This afternoon (Tuesday 28 June), the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) received a reference by the Lord Advocate under paragraph 34 of Schedule 6 to the Scotland Act 1998 under the Supreme Court’s devolution jurisdiction.

Under devolution legislation enacted by the UK Parliament, the Supreme Court may decide devolution issues, such as whether the devolved executive and legislative authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have acted or propose to act within their powers. Devolution cases can reach the Supreme Court through a reference from someone who can exercise relevant statutory power, such as – in this instance – the Lord Advocate.

This reference does not need to be granted permission by the Court for it to proceed.

The first step will be for the reference to be referred to the President of the Supreme Court, The Right Hon The Lord Reed of Allermuir for directions. He will decide whether there are preliminary matters to be addressed, when the case will be listed (heard), how many Justices will consider the reference, and which Justices will sit on the bench.

At this stage, we cannot confirm when the case will be heard.

We will announce further details via the UKSC website and Twitter account in due course.

For media enquiries, and to subscribe to updates about this case, contact the Supreme Court press office via and