Seminar: Energy Policy and Constitutional Change

Half-day seminar exploring the significance of energy autonomy for an independent Scotland in an interdependent world


When: 18 January 2013 from 13:45 to 17:30

Where: Glasgow


Scotland's rich energy resources – oil, gas, and now renewables – have played an important role in the economic and political case for greater autonomy.  The Scottish Government and Parliament currently have only limited legal powers in relation to energy policy, but independence would deliver full domestic legal competence.

The Scottish Government already pursues distinctive energy policy goals and with greater autonomy could improve the applicability to Scottish needs. However, it could be argued that autonomy is illusionary in a world of inter-connected energy markets in which domestic energy policy is increasingly constrained by supranational obligations.

This half-day seminar explores these issues, examining the significance of energy policy in the constitutional debate, and the potential impact of constitutional change in different energy sectors, drawing upon experience of negotiating energy autonomy and interdependence in other small European nations.


  • Greg Gordon - Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Aberdeen
  • Paul Gorecki - Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland
  • Aileen McHarg - Professor of Public Law, University of Strathclyde
  • John Paterson - Professor of Law, University of Aberdeen
  • Anita Rønne - Associate Professor in Energy Law, University of Copenhagen


Time Topic Speaker
13:30 Registration
13:45 Welcome
13:50 Session 1: Energy Policy and Scotland’s Constitutional Future – Setting the Scene John Paterson
14:35 Session 2: Constitutional Change and Sectoral Policy Greg Gordon, Aileen McHarg
15:55 Coffee Break
16:10 Session 3: Autonomy and Interdependence in Energy Policy: Comparative Experience Anita Rønne, Paul Gorecki
17:30 Reception


The seminar is free of charge and open to anyone who wants to attend. Registration is required as places are limited.

How to Get There

Main Lecture Theatre
Collins Building
Strathclyde University
22 Richmond Street
Glasgow G1 1XQ

Map: Collins Building, Strathclyde University, Glasgow


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