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Scottish Law Commission's annual report welcomes progress on bills

28 February 2017

A productive year including the enactment of two bills it recommended is recorded in the Scottish Law Commission’s Annual Report for 2016, published today.

The year saw two law reform bills passed by the Scottish Parliament: a consolidating measure on bankruptcy law and a bill reforming aspects of the law of succession.

In addition, the Westminster Parliament approved the Enterprise Act 2016, which implemented recommendations on the payment of late claims in the Commission's joint project on insurance law with the Law Commission for England & Wales.

Regarding projects in hand, the Commission published discussion papers on the law of defamation, penalty clauses, and aspects of the law of prescription; and a report on third party rights in contract with a draft bill which has recently been introduced in the Scottish Parliament. A substantial report was also submitted to the Scottish Government drawing together responses to the Commission's consultation on compulsory purchase, which the Commission hopes will "provide a platform for further consideration of reform in this challenging and important area".

Progress has also been made on the large project to reform the law on moveable transactions (a report with draft bill is anticipated for 2017); and an interim report was published on the joint project on reform of electoral law, involving the Law Commission for England & Wales and the Northern Ireland Law Commission.

A further discussion paper on remedies for breach of contract is predicted for the first half of 2017, and in the summer a report and draft bill covering aspects of prescription law. The year will also see a draft bill on defamation law being published for comment.

In his foreword, Commission chairman Lord Pentland also welcomes the "major step forward" of the agreement with the Scottish law schools, promoting greater collaboration and enhanced joint working, the first placement under which with the Commission "has proved very successful". He further looks forward to making progress in 2017 in re-examining the way in which the Commission works with the Scottish Government; and to consulting on the Commission’s next (10th) programme of law reform.

Lord Pentland commented: “This has been another busy and productive year for law reform in Scotland. The work of law reform is of vital importance in ensuring that the law is kept up to date. As society continues to develop, so must the law. The law must remain in tune with modern values and the outlook of today’s society.”

Click here to access the report.


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