Searching for the Voice of the Island Communities in the Islands (Scotland) Bill

Sindico, Francesco and Crook, Nicola (2018) Searching for the Voice of the Island Communities in the Islands (Scotland) Bill. [Report]

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    Abstract

    Recently, I was talking to a friend who comes from a Spanish island and mentioned the recently adopted Islands (Scotland) Bill, including the duty it imposes upon Scottish Ministers and relevant authorities to undertake an island communities impact assessment in relation to certain policies, strategies and legislation. My friend looked at me in positive bewilderment, and explained that she was used to seeing her own island often overlooked and somewhat forgotten by central government. This short brief wishes to start exploring whether my friend was right in praising the originality of the Scottish legislation in question, or whether her initial positive reaction would likely turn to frustration once the details of the Islands (Scotland) Bill were clearer to her. As is often the case, the truth stands very much in the middle. The Islands (Scotland) Bill is not the most progressive piece of legislation on islands that any country has ever put forward. However, the Bill is definitely not just rhetoric and does give island communities a voice in important Scottish wide decisions. This brief will explore this middle ground.