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Law reform update

19 September 11

Recent work of the Society's Law Reform Department, including UK Bill of Rights; Scotland Bill; IP law; equality; bankruptcy; consumer credit

A UK Bill of Rights?

The Constitutional Law Committee is considering the consultation paper produced by the Commission on a Bill of Rights on whether we need such a Bill, and if so, what should it contain. The committee will submit a response in November.

Scotland Bill

The same committee has been scrutinising and commenting on the Scotland Bill, which passed the House of Commons and completed its first reading in the Lords before the recess. Committee members will give oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s committee in October and a second reading letter will be submitted to the House of Lords this month.

IP Law Committee

The IP committee is considering two consultations: a green paper by the EC on Opportunities and challenges towards a digital single market, on whether barriers exist to cross border availability of online services in the EU; and a Consultation on Print Disability published by the UK Intellectual Property Office, which considers improvements to the international legal framework on access for persons with print disabilities to copyright materials. This is also being considered by the Mental Health and Disability Law Committee.

Religion or belief rights

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has been granted permission to intervene in four cases before the European Court of Human Rights claiming religious discrimination. The Commission is seeking views on its proposed submission. The Equalities Law Committee is considering and will submit a response this month.

Bankruptcy consolidation

A Scottish Law Commission consultation paper aims to consolidate the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985. The Act has been heavily amended and the structure has become difficult to follow. A working party has been formed and a response will be submitted by the November deadline.

Role of the UK Supreme Court

The Criminal Law Committee has submitted a response to the consultation by Lord McCluskey’s review group. The group recommended an amendment to the Scotland Bill relating to appeals from the High Court of Justiciary to the UK Supreme Court. The committee did not see the need for this amendment, as the current system relating to appeals and devolved issues works.

OFT credit guidance

The Consumer Law Committee submitted a response in August to an OFT consultation seeking views on the clarity of the guidance supplied by the OFT on the level of service it expects from credit brokers and credit intermediaries dealing with prospective borrowers. 

You can view consultation responses submitted by the Society at www.lawscot.org.uk/consultations

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