Placing the community at the heart of island governance : The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018

Sindico, Francesco and Crook, Nicola (2019) Placing the community at the heart of island governance : The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018. Edinburgh Law Review, 23 (3). pp. 441-448. ISSN 1364-9809 (

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The adoption of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 (the Act)2 in July 2018 marked a historical moment for island communities in Scotland. The provisions therein, and their implementation, provide a unique opportunity for island communities to influence the agenda of the Scottish Government in relation to island governance. The Act has the potential to position Scotland at the forefront of island law and policy on an international scale. This paper expands on this opportunity by providing a snapshot of the journey that has led to the Act. It will then discuss the National Islands Plan and the provision requiring island communities impact assessment to be undertaken, both of which are key elements present in the Act. The paper concludes by drawing attention to the Act’s emphasis on island communities. When it comes to island law and policy, Scotland will only be able to claim true leadership if it carries through its commitments towards island communities in the implementation of the Act.


Sindico, Francesco ORCID logoORCID: and Crook, Nicola;