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Tag: property law

Moveable Transactions (Scotland) Bill

by Andrew Steven, Professor of Property Law, University of Edinburgh.

The Moveable Transactions (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 25 May. The Scottish Government is therefore implementing the recommendations made by the Scottish Law Commission in its three-volume Report on Moveable Transactions (Scot Law Com No 249, 2017). The Public Finance Minister, Tom Arthur MSP has described the Bill as “vital to helping businesses and the wider economy”.

The report was the culmination of a large project conducted by the Commission. Its Discussion Paper of 2011 (Scot Law Com DP No 151, 2011), on which Professor George Gretton, Lord President Reid Professor of Law Emeritus in Edinburgh Law School was lead Commissioner, was the subject of a symposium by the Edinburgh Centre for Private Law in October 2011. The papers presented were published in the May 2012 issue of the Edinburgh Law Review. Following this symposium and consultation, I was responsible as lead Commissioner for taking the project through to the 2017 Report.  It has a draft Bill annexed to it, on which the Scottish Government Bill is based.  The Bill is arguably the largest reform to Scottish moveable property law since the Sale of Goods Act 1893, although its successor, the Sale of Goods Act 1979, falls outwith scope because of its UK-wide application.

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Electronic trade documents in Scots law

By Andrew Steven, Professor of Property Law, University of Edinburgh

Economic importance

In 2021 international trade was worth approximately £1.266 trillion to the UK. The moving of goods across borders still heavily relies on paper documents and practices which developed centuries ago. A trade finance transaction typically involves 20 entities and between 10 and 20 paper documents, totalling over 100 pages. Recent technological developments have enabled the use of secure forms of electronic documents. But the law requires to catch up.

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Delictual Liens

By Andrew Steven, Professor of Property Law, University of Edinburgh

In Scotland, the law of rights in security develops slowly. There are reasons for this. First, there is limited legislative time for reform of private law. Second, it is an area which has been relatively neglected in terms of doctrinal study. Third, we are a small jurisdiction and case law is limited.

Nevertheless, there are some grounds for optimism. The Scottish Government’s legislative programme for 2020/21 published on 1 September contains a commitment to “work towards implementation of the Scottish Law Commission proposals on reforming the law relating to Moveable Transactions, with a view to introducing a Bill early in the new Parliament” and accepts that this would “make it easier for businesses and individuals to raise finance, thereby assisting economic recovery”. The last month has also seen the successful defence by Andrew Sweeney of his University of Edinburgh doctoral thesis on the landlord’s hypothec. In addition, an earlier Edinburgh thesis on floating charges by Dr Alisdair MacPherson, now Lecturer in Law at the University of Aberdeen, has been published in book form.#

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Climate Change and Scottish Property Law

By Andrew Steven, Professor of Property Law, University of Edinburgh

In the pre-pandemic days of last autumn, the Scottish Government placed addressing climate change at the heart of its Programme for Scotland 2019-2020. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in her introduction to that publication, stated: “The consequences of global climate change will be severe. While in some parts of the world its effects are existential, we will also feel the impact here at home. We must act.” The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 is an example of the Scottish Government so acting.

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Common problems: BAM TCP Atlantic Square Limited v BT plc

BAM TCP Atlantic Square Limited v BT plc [2020] CSOH 57 presents something approaching a full house of recent hot topics in conveyancing: interpretation of a deed of conditions; determination of the scope of common property; the transitional provisions in the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012; positive prescription and the offside goals rule. Lady Wolffe is therefore to be congratulated for managing to get through everything in a mere 95 paragraphs. The focus of this blog, however, is the interaction between inaccuracy as understood under the 1979 and 2012 Act, and the offside goals rule.

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