TOP lawyers have been tasked to re-examine whether Scotland has a right to self-determination in an attempt to challenge the Supreme Court’s indyref2 judgement, The National has learned.

An Alba source has said the party has commissioned two experienced KCs and a top-flight London law firm to examine Scotland’s ability to invoke its right to self-determination under international law to push for a second referendum.

It was an argument summarily dismissed by the Supreme Court in its judgment last year on whether Holyrood could hold an independence referendum without Westminster’s consent.

But Alba said Scotland should not “just accept” the decision of the court and insisted it must be challenged.

'Top people - and not cheap' 

A party source told The National Alba had hired expensive lawyers in a bid to open the ruling up to challenges.

The source would not specially identify those who had been contracted to carry out the work saying the party intended to keep the experts’ findings under wraps to be used “strategically” at a later date.

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They said: “We’ve commissioned legal opinions from both UK-based cases and also international lawyers that have brought forward cases to international courts before to see what the possibilities are for Scotland on the back of the Supreme Court decision.

“We’ve got a KC’s opinion looking at what the domestic options are, we’ve also went to a top firm in London in terms of the international options.

“They’re top people – not cheap. We’re lucky that we’ve got a lot of members who continue to pay a lot in subscriptions and give us a mandate.”

The party is looking at exploring options which might avoid the de facto referendum option put forward by the SNP following the Supreme Court defeat – which has been criticised by senior figures within in the party.

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The First Minister has also expressed reservations about the strategy but has previously indicated she views it as the Yes movement’s best option for a speedy route out of the UK.

The source added: “We’re investigating what other options there are to counter the Supreme Court’s position.

“We don’t want to disclose opinions until we decide how we’re going to strategically [use them].

“Obviously the Greens and the SNP are in government, they’ve said their strategy is a de facto referendum – they seem to be going out of their way to undermine their own strategy, so someone’s basically got to put on a plate for them an option that we can build people in Scotland around it.”

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The Supreme Court ruled late last year that the UN definition of the right to self-determination did not apply in Scotland as it did in post-colonial countries.

The unanimous judgment read: “The principle of self-determination is simply not in play here”.

It comes as Alba leader Alex Salmond delivered a speech at L’Institute D’Études Politique De Rennes in the French city on Wednesday, in which he stressed his belief that Scotland’s right to self-determination was being undermined by the Union.

He said: “Scotland’s claim of right to nationhood and self-determination will prove stronger than the undemocratic death agonies of this British rogue state.”