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Commission presents draft Bankruptcy Act

15 May 2013

A proposed new Bankruptcy Act for Scotland has been published by the Scottish Law Commission.

The draft consolidation Act forms the bulk of the 256-page Report on the Consolidation of Bankruptcy Legislation in Scotland, the latest set of law reform proposals from the Commission.

Its project arose from the fact that the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985, which contains most of the current law, has been heavily amended in recent years, most notably by the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc (Scotland) Act 2007. Many of the provisions of the 1985 Act are excessively long and its structure has become difficult to follow, with the result that the Act has lost coherence.

In its proposed redraft the Commission proposes a number of technical amendments that are intended to remove anomalies, treat like cases in the same way, or omit provisions that no longer serve any purpose.

Lady Clark of Calton, the Court of Session judge who chairs the Commission and was in charge of the project, said: "It is important that the law on bankruptcy should be stated in a clear and accessible form. The existing statutory provisions dealing with bankruptcy are cumbersome and difficult to use. We hope that consolidating the legislation will make it easier and more efficient for
practitioners and others to provide advice to people faced with personal bankruptcy.”

Rosemary Winter-Scott, chief executive of Accountant in Bankruptcy, which worked closely with the Commission on the report, added in welcoming the report: “Bankruptcy legislation in Scotland has been heavily amended over the years and the consolidation will ensure that the legislation is more accessible for practitioners and those affected by it. A Bankruptcy Bill is due to be introduced in the Scottish Parliament this summer. We expect the Consolidation Bill to follow after that bill
has completed the parliamentary process. This will bring bankruptcy legislation in Scotland
into the 21st century.”

Click here to access the report.

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