Provisions of the Treaty of Union of 1707 which united the countries of Scotland and England under the new name of "The United Kingdom of Great Britain"

The text below gives the pre-amble and the sections of this treaty relevant to the maintenance of the distinct Scottish legal system.


The Estates of Parliament considering that articles of Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England were agreed on the 22nd of July 1706 years, by the commissioners nominated on behalf of this kingdom, under Her Majesty's Great Seal of Scotland, bearing date the 27th of February last past, in pursuance of the fourth Act of the third Session of this Parliament, and the commissioners nominated on behalf of the kingdom of England, under Her Majesty's Great Seal of England, bearing date at Westminster the 10th day of April last past, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament made in England the third year of Her Majesty's reign, to treat of and concerning a union of the said kingdoms; which articles were, in all humility, presented to Her Majesty upon the 23rd of the said month of July, and were recommended to this Parliament by Her Majesty's royal letter of the date the 31st day of July, 1706; and that the said Estates of Parliament have agreed to, and approven of the said Articles of Union, with some additions.


That the two kingdoms of Scotland and England shall, upon the Ist day of May next ensuing the date hereof, and for ever after, be united into one kingdom by the name of Great Britain, and that the ensigns armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint, and the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George be conjoined in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit, and used in all flags, banners, standards and ensigns, both at sea and land.


That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament, to be styled the Parliament of Great Britain.

The section 19 (XIX) below is the one which provides for the maintenance in perpetuity of the Court of Session - the highest Court of Law in Scotland - for its independence and its recruitment only from persons properly skilled in Scots Law and for its obligations only to that Law and to subsequent additions properly enacted by Parliament.


That the Court of Session, or College of Justice, do, after the Union, and notwithstanding thereof, remain in all time coming within Scotland, as it is now constituted by the laws of that kingdom, and with the same authority and privileges as before the Union, subject, nevertheless, to such regulations, for the better administration of justice, as shall be made by the Parliament of Great Britain; and that hereafter none shall be named by Her Majesty, or her royal successors, to be ordinary Lords of Session, but such who have served in the College of Justice as advocates, or principal clerks of Session, for the space of five years, or as Writers to the Signet for the space of ten years, with this provision, that no Writer to the Signet be capable to be admitted a Lord of the Session, unless he undergo a private and public trial on the civil law before the Faculty of Advocates, and be found by them qualified for the said office two years before he be named.