Jurgen Goossens (doctoral researcher, UGent) & Pieter Cannoot (academic assistant, UGent)

On 29 October 2014, we had the honour to welcome renowned expert Prof. Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh) in Ghent (view pictures). In this first installment of BelConLawBlog’s video interview series, we invited  Prof. Tom Ruys (Ghent University) to discuss the vision of Prof. Tierney regarding constitutional referenda, with a focus on the recent Scottish and Catalonian referenda.

In the interview, both professors talk about the lessons to be drawn from the Scottish referendum process for secessionist agenda’s in Europe and around the world. Furthermore, they explore whether peoples or minorities have an inalienable right to hold a referendum and they analyze the relationship between regional independence and EU-membership.

Stephen Tierney is Professor of Constitutional Theory in the School of Law, University of Edinburgh and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He currently holds an ESRC Senior Research Fellowship to study the referendum process planned for 2014. He served as independent adviser to the Scottish Government on the technical aspects of the referendum for six months in 2012, and in January 2013 was appointed constitutional adviser to the Scottish Parliament’s Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee. He has published seven books including Constitutional Law and National Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2004) and Constitutional Referendums: The Theory and Practice of Republican Deliberation, (Oxford University Press, 2012).

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