SCELG and the Implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Act

March 2019: The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) has been awarded a consultancy to assist the Scottish Government Islands Team (@IslandsTeamSG) in the implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Act. This work will build on SCELG’s EILEAN (Islands, Law and Sustainable Development) Initiative and the project “Law, Arts and Island Resilience”. SCELG’s collaboration with Scottish Government in the context of the Islands (Scotland) Act adds to the working relationship between SCELG and Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament, which include work on Brexit and SCELG’s participation in the First Minister Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership.

The Islands (Scotland) Act

Islands can be wonderful places. Island communities are imaginative, resilient and creative. Often, islands and island communities are hubs of social and technological innovation. Scottish islands and island communities within Scotland fit this description perfectly. However, islands and their communities can also face challenges, which are not always accounted for in and from the mainland.

The Islands (Scotland) Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2018, has at its core the goal to island proof Scottish legislation and policy. What this means is that all future Scottish law and policy should fully take into account its effects on island communities. The latter will be empowered through two main instruments: the “National Islands Plan” and the provision of “island communities’ impact assessment”. SCELG is delighted to have the opportunity to assist the Scottish Government Islands Team on both these instruments.

The Islands (Scotland) Act

The Team

SCELG will be represented on the project by Francesco Sindico, Co-Director of SCELG and Reader in International Environmental Law, and Nicola Crook, whose PhD research focuses on island law and policy. The team also welcomes Sandy Brunton, founding director and Convenor of Mull and Iona Community Trust, and will be supported by Camille Dressler and Kirsty McColl from Scottish Island Federation.

Inception Meeting

Francesco Sindico, Don Morrison, Kirsty McColl, Camille Dressler, Erica Clarkson, Nicola Crook, and Sandy Burnton

Next Steps

On the 28th of February, SCELG met with the Scottish Government Islands Team for the inception meeting at Strathclyde. We will meet again in Uist on the sides of the third workshop of the Law, Arts and Island Resilience project. Consultation with island communities will begin in April and continue for three months. If anybody from an island community or representing an island community wishes to have further information about the Islands (Scotland) Act and/or the consultation leading to the National Islands Plan (#IslandsPlan) please contact Nicola at

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