The European Charter of Local Self-Government is an international treaty of the Council of Europe which enshrines basic rules guaranteeing the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities. It was ratified by the United Kingdom in 1998 and it came into force on 1 August 1998.

The Charter has not been incorporated into domestic law in the UK and thus the provisions of the Charter are not part of Scots law and are not justiciable in the Scottish Courts. Incorporation will mean that the status and standing of local government will be strengthened by entrenching international legal rights into Scots law. In addition, the public will be able to seek a judicial remedy if they believe that any actions by the Scottish Government or any legislation of the Scottish Parliament violate the terms of the Charter.

I have lodged a Draft Proposal with the Scottish Parliament to introduce a Member’s Bill which would incorporate the European Charter on Local Self-Government into Scots law.

Please read the Draft Proposal and let me know your views using the online consultation survey.

The consultation closes on 21 September 2018.