What is the
Peoples Action on Section 30
The Peoples Action on Section 30 is a legal action brought by Martin J Keatings on behalf of 10,000 ordinary members of the electorate to establish that the Scottish Parliament already has the right to pass laws to legislate for a referendum on Independence for Scotland, without requiring the permission of Westminster and without a section 30 order.
The case has met fierce opposition from the UK Government and politicians who have failed to answer this very question for more than two decades because it is brought by ordinary members of the electorate and not politicians.
If the case is successful it would prove, not only that Scotland has the right to call a referendum and legislate for that referendum without the consent of Westminster, but also that the SNP’s draft referendum bill is legal.
Timeline Of The Peoples Action
Martin commissions formal legal opinion through law firm Balfour and Manson with Aidan O'neill QC on the constitutionality of the Scottish Parliament Legislating for a referendum without Westminster Consent.
Crowdjustice is chosen as the preferred fundraising platform due to its process of confirming the instruction of solicitors, direct crowdjustice to law firm transfers and use of unspent and reclaimed funds for access to justice charity.
Phase One Fundraising Commences
Fundraising commences for the case reaching £43,658, of which £40,263.62 is transferred to the solicitors directly by CrowdJustice after deduction of appropriate fees.
January 30th 2020
The Advocate General of the UK Government is issued with pre-litigation correspondence solicitors at Balfour+Manson and the Scottish Government are also copied into that correspondence.
14th February 2020
UK Government Responds
UK Government responds by stating that they do not believe that the Scottish Parliament has the authority to legislate for a second referendum on Scottish Independence without the consent of Westminster (“Section 30 Order”).
March 20th 2020
Court Summons Issued against UK Government
A court summons is issued in the name of the Convener of Forward as One, Martin Keatings, overseeing the litigation
Resisting a Motion
The peoples action resist a motion by the Scottish Government to halt proceedings for 3 months.
Resisting a Second Motion
Resisting a motion of the Scottish Government to hault proceedings by other means, labelled by the pursuer as an "abuse of process". The Scottish Government dropped said motion on the last day.
Adjustment period begins
The 8-week adjustment period begins, in which all parties to a case refine their arguments and respond to each other.
Protected Expenses Order Rejected
Court rules against a protected expenses order to allow Martin to ask reasonable questions of law without facing the fear of bankruptcy at the hands of Government (previously granted to MP's engaged in similar cases).
UK Gov Believe Case is Over
UK government believe that the peoples action is over with the ruling against a protected expenses order.
Phase two fundraising commences
Phase 2 fundraising for the case commences. With only 1/3 of the £155,000 target met, Martin corresponds with backers telling them his belief is so strong in the yes movement that he has instructed lawyers to proceed.
Scottish Government drops out
Scottish Government panics at arguments advanced in its name, that it is "not for the pursuer [10,000 members of the electorate] to stand in the shoes of parliamentarians. 4 week adjustment period begins to remove references to Scot Gov.
August 22nd, 2020
Fundraiser hits £155K target
November 4th, 2020
Bi-Order Roll Hearing
Hearing before Lady Carmichael to establish further procedure. Lady Carmichael rules in our favour that case should be heard in full over 2 days in January. Rejects request for Protected Expenses order again.
21st & 22nd January 2021
Case calls in court for 2 day hearing.
The case calls in the outer house of the court of session before lady carmichael in which the Lord Advocate and Advocate General do not argue against our position that Scottish Parliament can legislate for Indyref2. They only argue that an ordinary member of the electorate cannot ask such questions.
Lady Carmichael Dismisses Case
Lady Carmichael dismisses the case and does not opine on the substantive matter.
Case moves to appeal stage
Case moves directly to appeal to the inner house of the court of session.
Win for Urgent Disposal
The peoples action wins a motion for urgent disposal (urgent hearing of the case before the Scottish Elections).
6th April 2021
Appeal hearing calls before the inner house of the court of session. The Lord President, Lord Carloway presided. He was joined by Lords Menzies and Lord Doherty. The retired to consider their opinion.
20th April 2021
The Lord Advocate tries to enter a ruling from the High Court of England and Wales as a precedent in the case after the Judges have already retired to consider their ruling. He has done so without following normal process by first sending a copy to the other parties so they can reasonably comment on the context. The ruling has no precedential value in the peoples action. It was a ruling based on judicial review (which the peoples action is not), it was a ruling from a completely different jurisdiction from Scotland (because our courts work differently) and it was
22nd April 2021
We respond to Lord Advocate
Our counsel responds to the Lord Advocates blatant attempt to sneek matters which are not pertinent to the case in via the back door.