Conference general outline / English text

General information about the conference, its aims and its organizers.

Studying the constitutional history of Scotland in its relationship with England and later as part of Great Britain and of the United Kingdom is the aim of this conference. To this end, special attention will be paid to some crucial moments in the story of their relationship; constitutional acts and documents that have marked the evolution of the bond between these countries and nations will come under scrutiny. Their constitutional relevance will be interpreted in a rather broad sense. On the one hand, this expression refers to the creation and transformation of the institutions that connected the two countries, culminating in the Act of Union in 1707. At a later date, however, this development seemed to proceed in reverse order, with increasing devolution. It is a process to which the Scotland Acts of the 20th and 21st century bear witness, but which can hardly be said to have reached its end, in spite of the result of the 2014 Independence Referendum. But this conference intends to explore also a second acceptation of the expression constitutional relevance as referred to Scottish history. In this second meaning, a different group of acts and documents comes to the forefront. Rather than with the life of institutions, they relate to the building or denial of a national and/or political Scottish identity, vis-à-vis an English one. When this sort of acts comes under scrutiny, discriminating between the actual and the mythical dimension is at times quite difficult. This can be the case of the Declaration of Arbroath itself, of the Covenant, even of the punitive legislation passed after Culloden.

The conference will be held under the aegis of the Department of Legal Studies of the University of Bologna and it is organized in partnership with Devolution Club – Associazione per il Dialogo Costituzionale and with the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development, with the support of Fondazione Flaminia and under the patronage of Comune di Ravenna.


Scientific committee:

Alessandro Torre (Università di Bari)

Justin Orlando Frosini (Università Bocconi; Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development)

Ugo Bruschi (Università di Bologna)