June 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including the Scottish Law Commission discussion paper on prescription, proposals for a British Bill of Rights and compensation for the loss of pension rights in Employment Tribunals.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website: www.lawscot.org.uk/law-reform

SLC Discussion Paper on Prescription

The Obligations Law Committee responded to the Scottish Law Commission’s Discussion Paper on Prescription. One of the main issues reviewed in the paper is the issue of prescription in relation to claims relating to latent damage. It follows the judgments of the UK Supreme Court in David T Morrison & Co Ltd v ICL Plastics Ltd in 2014.

We are wholly supportive of the SLC’s review of this area of law. For many years in Scotland we consider that parties have been exposed to unnecessary legal costs due to the absence of standstill agreements and therefore the need for protective proceedings to be raised. This, and other issues, has been exacerbated by the UK Supreme Court’s decision, which has led to considerable uncertainty surrounding the commencement date for prescriptive periods.

We also feel that many actions are currently being raised to avoid a time-bar argument that could otherwise be dealt with out of court.

The full consultation response is available to read on the website