The UK Supreme Court will rule this week on the validity of two Scottish Parliament bills attempting to incorporate international treaties into Scots law.

Judgment will be given on Wednesday on whether the Parliament was acting within its powers when it passed the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, and the European Charter for Local Self Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill. The Advocate General for Scotland and the Attorney General referred the bills for a ruling, claiming that by giving the Scottish courts extensive powers to interpret and scrutinise primary legislation passed by the UK Parliament, the bills modify s 28(7) of the Scotland Act 1998 and are therefore outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

A further issue is whether the bills can be “read down” – read in such a way that they come within legislative competence, in terms of s 101(2) of the Scotland Act.

It has been claimed that the Scottish Government ignored suggestions from the UK Government as to how the bills could be worded so as to avoid a challenge.