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Landmark Bill to close legal loophole following Rosepark tragedy

23 April 2013 | tagged News release

The Law Society of Scotland has today, Tuesday 23 April, welcomed the closing of a legal loophole in Scottish partnership law.

The issue came into focus following the tragic death of 14 elderly residents in a fire at the Rosepark nursing home in Lanarkshire in 2004. The Crown Office made three separate attempts to prosecute those alleged to be responsible but the case failed because of a loophole which prevented the prosecution of a partnership once it had dissolved.

Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform at the Law Society of Scotland, said: "The failure to secure a prosecution in the tragic Rosepark case demonstrated that action needed to be taken to reform this area of Scottish partnership law. The Bill is a welcome development. When the Bill becomes law, individual partners will no longer be able to avoid criminal prosecution on the basis that the partnership is dissolved; they will instead be held to account under Scottish law."

ENDS

Notes to editors

On Monday 22 April 2013, the UK Parliament passed the Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Bill. On royal assent, the Act will make provision for the prosecution in Scotland of partnerships, partners and others following dissolution or changes in membership. 

The Bill was introduced to the UK Parliament in November 2012, under a new parliamentary procedure for uncontroversial Law Commission Bills. It was the first Scottish Law Commission Bill to utilise this procedure.

The Law Society of Scotland's written evidence on the Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Bill can be viewed on the Society's website

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Journalists can contact Julia Brown on 0131 476 8204 or Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884. For the out of hours service please call 0131 226 7411.

Email: juliabrown@lawscot.org.uk or valeriemcewan@lawscot.org.uk

23 April 2013

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