Scottish Law Commission sets out programme of work

06 Feb

A major review of the law of defamation in Scotland has been included in the Scottish Law Commission's Ninth Programme of Law Reform.

The Programme forms the basis for most of the Commission's work over the next three years, and commissioners will also examine proprietary aspects of the law of leases and certain issues in the law of prescription.

Lord Pentland, the Commission's Chairman, said: "The law of defamation has recently been reformed in England and Wales and is currently being reviewed in Northern Ireland. We believe that it is now appropriate to conduct a searching examination of the current state of Scots law on the subject to see whether it is fit for the internet age. Freedom of speech and the right to privacy are fundamental values in our society; the law of defamation has a central part to play in safeguarding both these rights. It is vital to ensure that this area of the law is up to date."

He added: "So far as the law of leases is concerned, there are a number of features of the law which we think would benefit from consideration for reform. The project will focus on the proprietary aspects of leases and will take a selective approach as to where law reform is most needed.

"Finally, we intend to consider certain issues in the law of prescription. A number of aspects have remained unchanged since the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 and have given rise to difficulties in practice. We believe that these areas would benefit from review."

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