Law commission

The Scottish Law Commission seeks views on future work

The Scottish Law Commission has launched a public consultation on future law reform work.

The committee is seeking advice on areas of Scottish law most in need of reform. Reform may be necessary because the law causes difficulties in practice, for example when the law is unfair, unclear, too complex or outdated.

The commission’s mandate covers all of Scots law; it extends to reserved and devolved areas of the law.

Most of the commission’s work is carried out within the framework of law reform programmes, approved by Scottish ministers. Each program covers a fixed period of several years and defines a number of legislative reform projects that the commission will examine during this period.

The work carried out by the commission has resulted in major new legislation being passed by the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.

The commission is currently preparing its next legislative reform programme, the eleventh programme. This should start in 2023.

A number of projects under the commission’s current programme, the Tenth Law Reform Programme, will be carried over to the Eleventh Program in 2023. These include:

  • Homicide;
  • Hereditary titles;
  • Damages for bodily injury;
  • Aspects of family law

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison MSP also referred to the commission to consider changes to the law to create mandatory landlord associations for rental properties.

The commission may also continue to carry out law reform work in conjunction with the Law Commission for England and Wales.

Commission chair Lady Paton said: “We want to maximize the benefits that our law reform work can bring to Scotland and to people and businesses in Scotland. We therefore seek input from anyone with suggestions for reforming laws that are considered unfair, unclear, unduly complex or outdated.

An online consultation document will be available from 5 May 2022 on the commission’s website.