What follows is the reply received from the International Court of Justice in reply to Steve Norris’s letter seeking guidance on how Scotland could seek a judgement from the Court. Initially the reply might seem negative but take the time to read the explanation Sara Salyers of Salvo/ Liberation has added which confirms that theContinue reading "HERE IS THE REPLY TO STEVE’S LETTER TO THE ICJ AND WHAT IT MEANS."


What follows is the reply received from the International Court of Justice in reply to Steve Norris’s letter seeking guidance on how Scotland could seek a judgement from the Court. Initially the reply might seem negative but take the time to read the explanation Sara Salyers of Salvo/ Liberation has added which confirms that the route being followed by Salvo/ Liberation in seeking status to address a UN Committee as a recognised National Liberation Movement is the correct one and has the prospect of genuine success if we can meet the criteria to achieve the crucial status. People can help by joining Liberation.Scot and Salvo.Scot.

Dear Sir,  
In reply to your e-mail, I have to inform you that the International Court of Justice is not authorized, in view of its functions strictly defined by its Statute (Article 34) and Rules, to give advice or make observations on questions such as those raised in your communication.

The Court’s activities are limited to rendering judgments in legal disputes between States submitted to it by the States themselves and giving advisory opinions when it is so requested by UN organs or specialized agencies of the UN system.

It follows that neither the Court nor its Members can consider applications from private individuals or groups, provide them with legal advice or assist them in their relations with the authorities of any country.

That being so, you will, I am sure, understand that, to my regret, no action can be taken on your communication. 

Yours faithfully,

Information Department International Court of Justice


Thank you, Steve Norris 

Sara Salyers 

15th March 

Scotland, though most of her people may never know it, owes Steve Norris a huge debt. 

Salvo and Liberation launched just 8 months ago. We’ve spoken about how the Union has imprisoned Scotland and how the UK (English) establishment is determined to keep us imprisoned by throwing away the key. So it’s not surprising that the UK establishment has cast scorn and derision at the idea that the Claim of Right is any kind of weapon or key to free us from this prison.   

Following the launch of Liberation Scotland with the Edinburgh Proclamation and the creation of the Scottish National Congress Working Group, chaired by Iain, we’ve seen the hostility, read and heard the accusations, that we are diverting the energy of the independence movement from real progress.  We are told it’s a foolish fantasy that Scotland could launch an international campaign with any hope of bringing a case to the ICJ for a ruling without the Scottish politicians or Scottish Government at its head.  

We did repeatedly try, calmly and patiently, to explain the truth: that no devolved government has any route to the world court. The only route is as a ‘person with international standing,’ either the government of a state or an organisational body recognised and granted standing by the UN.  

No devolved government, and certainly no politician, can have such standing. A Liberation Movement, however, gains recognition by the simple act of registering with the UN. It can gain standing at the discretion of the General Assembly and be represented by a friendly UN Committee that can put forward its application for an advisory ruling. This is what we knew and what the ICJ’s reply confirms. 


The arguments of pundits, social media commentators and the various legal experts who have been trotted out to convince the public that we in Salvo and Liberation are not only ignorant of international procedures, not only talking nonsense, but are irresponsibly fooling the Scottish public, are turned back on themselves. (But we will not hold our breaths for the apologies.)  

Steve Norris has done what the Scottish government should have done long ago. He has sought, and got, clarification from the International Court of Justice on what is and what is not possible for the Scottish Executive (‘government’) and politicians to achieve internationally. The ICJ’s reply has ended the argument that was, as we knew, based on speculation, misunderstanding and wishful thinking as to the power of our own, Scottish ‘government’ on an international battlefield. The simple logic, as well as the simple justice, of the Liberation campaign is now almost unassailable.  

But what about the influence of our politicians? I will let Lord Offord answer that question.  

“Scotland Office minister Lord Offord of Garvel told peers in Westminster that, while devolved governments are allowed to engage internationally, they must be limited to the scope of devolved matters.  

He added that the UK Government is “aware” that the SNP administration has recently been “encroaching” on reserved matters in its foreign engagement on issues such as “separatism and the constitution”, which is in breach of the Scotland Act 1998.  

Lord Offord said the situation would be “very closely monitored” by UK ministers going forward.  

The Scottish Government has breached the law in its foreign activities by discussing independence, a UK minister has told Parliament.  

The minister said in the House of Lords: “Foreign affairs is a reserved matter under Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 and therefore the sole responsibility of the UK Government and UK Parliament.  

“The Scotland Act is clear that foreign affairs is outside the competence of the Scottish Government and therefore they cannot and should not encroach on matters such as separatism or the constitution.  

“We have been aware that they have been doing that in recent times – and our Secretary of State for Scotland has met with the Foreign Secretary and that will be very closely monitored in future.”  

He added that this meeting between the Secretaries of State was to “discuss the matter of the Scottish Government’s activities internationally” and that both ministers are “very clear that any overseas engagement by the Scottish Government should not encroach into reserved matters”.  

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Bruce of Bennachie told peers that the Scottish Government has “no legitimacy” to promote the break-up of the UK abroad.” (The Scotsman 9 March 2023) 

Anyone who thinks the UK government will not be keeping very close tabs on the international activities of our elected representatives and will not be prepared to take action against those promoting support for Scottish self-determination, has not been paying attention!  

Finally, what about the political parties and their non-elected representatives? There is an Alba ‘charm offensive’ already underway internationally and one planned by the SNP.  (There goes the argument that without our elected representatives, we wouldn’t be taken seriously.) While this is useful and very welcome, what exactly is the tangible and measurable outcome? Without legal standing of any kind these initiatives cannot bring about what is most urgently needed on Scotland’s behalf. 

Scotland’s constitutional position within the UK hangs on the provisions of an international treaty, the Treaty of Union. Effected by the agreement of two independent, sovereign nations, any violation of its fundamental terms and conditions, (especially of its preconditions and of the limits of what it grants to the new state), cannot be arbitrated by the violating signatory, a ‘partner’ to the treaty far superior in numbers and in political power to that of the injured party. It is a matter of international law and must be rehearsed in the international, legal arena. And this is a far greater matter than simply the denial of Scotland’s rights, in international law, to self-determination.  

The implications of Lord Reed’s representation of Scotland as a ‘territory’, without voice yet neither oppressed nor colonised, is inescapable. The Treaty of Union, the guarantees sought and provided to Scotland and her people, is both the instrument of the Union and simultaneously meaningless. He might as well have said: 

‘Scotland was foolish enough to sign a treaty which gave England what it wanted, absolute control by this English dominated parliament, (and the English establishment), over its land and people.  

Now this sovereign Parliament, (the absolute and final authority under English law), shall make that contract mean whatever it chooses. And there is nothing the people of Scotland can do about it – because you signed the contract with perfidious Albion and, as with the EU withdrawal terms and the NI protocol, its Parliament can and will make that contract mean whatever it chooses.” 

Lord Reed has spoken and the highest Court in the land has ruled. With no direct access to the international court, whose rulings the UK government is bound to observe in theory, if not in practice, there is nothing the Scottish people can do about such oppression. 

But we do have an access route. One that is so alarming to the British establishment that, even though the Scottish government and the Scottish politicians have no way to gain standing with the ICJ, it is moving to shut down any possibility of diplomatic moves by Scotland’s elected representatives.  

We have Liberation Scotland, whose public campaign begins in earnest in a matter of a few months. And when we do go, with the signatures gathered, to the international community, we will not be looking for assurances of our rights as already established in international law. We will be looking for much, much more.  

Scotland must be accorded its rights under the international Treaty of Union. The UK government must meet its own treaty obligations by restoring the constitutional provisions ratified by the signatory nations and by relinquishing the assets that could not lawfully be transferred by parliament or monarch to Union control. If those rights and obligations are denied by the UK government, then the treaty was a mere pretext for annexation, something which cannot be voluntary and which context and reason will show to be far from the intention of the Scottish parliament.  Which is to say that Scotland is, by definition in international law, a colony.  

Now that the facts are finally clear, we can make the case for Liberation to the people of Scotland with the evidence to back it.  So, on behalf of Liberation Scotland and Salvo, its campaigning arm, I invite Steve Norris to take a bow. We are deeply grateful.  

Now watch and listen as our friend and ally Craig Murray explains our route and confirms what Sara has written above


Steve has helped open the door, he has obtained written confirmation of our route forward. It is now up to us, each and everyone of us to spread the word. We start by joining Liberation.Scot and if we want to be a campaigning member join Salvo.Scot as well. We get all our friends, workmates, family to join. We share articles to every platform we can think of. We educate our people on their rights as the sovereign people of Scotland.

It is time to leave the politicians playing catch up with the people of Scotland. It’s time for the people to lead the fight. Together, United behind Liberation we will be successful.

I am, as always