The Scottish Government’s latest independence paper says Scotland could take its own decisions on issues such as gambling and drug prohibition if it was to leave the UK.

The 13th paper in the Building a New Scotland series focuses on justice, setting out how the legal system would work post-independence.

Substantial parts of Scotland’s justice system are currently within the powers of Holyrood, but some key areas – including drug policy – remain reserved to Westminster.

Other examples include laws around firearms and gambling.

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The paper says Scotland’s independent judiciary and the role of the Lord Advocate would continue after independence.

The Court of Session (for civil matters) and the High Court of Justiciary (for criminal matters) would continue as the most senior courts in Scotland and collectively would become the Supreme Court of Scotland.

Publishing the paper on Thursday, Justice Secretary Angela Constance said: “There is more we could do with independence”.

She said: “Scotland’s police and prosecutors would regain access to tools to pursue criminals across borders which were lost following Brexit, such as the Schengen Information System and the European Arrest Warrant.

“These are essential to combatting sophisticated criminal networks and helping victims get justice even where a perpetrator resides outwith Scotland.

“With the power to take our own decisions, we could also enhance and further embed our public health approach to justice issues, extending this to addiction such as drugs and gambling.

“This would enable future governments to consider measures that would better address the specific needs and circumstances of people in our communities, such as safer drug consumption facilities, raising the legal age of gambling, and strengthened firearm licensing.”

She said independence could lead to “a more effective approach to improving justice outcomes, reducing burdens on the justice system and further reducing the number of victims of crime”.