THE People’s Action on Section 30 is back in court today as Martin Keatings and his legal team bid to speed up the legal process to ensure a decision is reached before the Holyrood election.

Lord Malcolm will hear the “motion for urgent disposal” in the Inner House of the Court of Session.

Keatings, convener of Forward as One, told The National that if the motion is approved, he expected the case to be back in court by the end of March, or early April – in time for publication of the Scottish Government’s referendum bill and just ahead of the Scottish Parliament election in May.

That timing would also enable the action to be considered by the UK Supreme Court should the appeal fail. A crowdfunding drive, which is still raising cash to finance the case, has reached more than £214,600.

Keatings is seeking a declarator from the court that the Scottish Government can hold indyref2 without Westminster’s “approval” in the form of a Section 30 order.

Lady Carmichael dismissed the case earlier this month and said Keatings’s main arguments had been raised prematurely, were hypothetical and may never come to pass.

“We have always stated that we believed this is where the case would end up and it has,” said Keatings, who is also standing as a Holyrood candidate for AFI [Action for Independence] in Mid-Scotland and Fife.

“Now we seek a panel of Scotland’s highest-ranking judges to issue a declarator which will allow the Scottish electorate to be fully informed in the run-up to the Scottish elections on whether their Parliament has the right to put the constitutional question to them.

“This is a matter of the fundamental right to self-determination and the free exercise of the right to choose our own future.

“We passionately believe that the Scottish Parliament already has the right to legislate for a second referendum without the consent of a destructive Westminster Government with a vested interest in the status quo. We will defend that position with every legal means we can bring to bear.”

Those interested in today’s proceedings can dial into the hearing – details are available on the Scottish Courts website.