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"Lawyers for Yes" sign independence declaration

23 June 2014

Over 100 lawyers of various backgrounds have signed a declaration of their vision for an independent Scotland as they launched a new campaign group ahead of September's referendum.

Lawyers for Yes believe that independence would result in "a fairer, equal and more democratic Scotland in which the fundamental rights of all citizens are enshrined in a written constitution and protected by a constitutional court".

The group, comprising advocates, solicitors and academics, includes Professors Christine Bell and Zenon Bankowski of Edinburgh University and Aileen McHarg of Strathclyde University; Dr Robert McCreadie, a retired sheriff and former Scottish Liberal Democrat vice chairman, Jonathan Mitchell QC, and solicitors Fiona Cook and Jamie Kerr, who are Scottish Labour Party members, and Harvey Aberdein of Aberdein Considine.

Joanna Cherry QC, the group’s convenor, said: "My colleague Gail Gianni and I set up this group to show that many in the legal profession support an independent Scotland. In a relatively short space of time more than 100 fellow lawyers have signed our declaration. We have encountered many more who, for a variety of reasons, are not able make a public declaration."

The group states: "Both the UK and the Scottish governments have affirmed that Scotland can exercise its right to self-determination and we see no fundamental legal obstacles to Scotland forming a democratic independent state internationally accepted as such."

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Jonathan Mitchell QC

Monday June 23, 2014, 17:46

Lawyers for Yes website is at and twitter feed at