Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including children and young people; regulatory reform; EU Balance of Competences; Scottish Planning Policy

Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill

The Society provided written evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education & Culture committee, commenting that while it considers the policy aims laudable, it does not think this legislation is the best way to achieve them. In order to be effective, the bill needs to be clear, proportionate and enforceable. The legislation must also be future-proofed as far as possible, and this can be difficult when trying to reflect a multi-faceted policy agenda. The Society will continue to monitor closely the progress of this bill. 

Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Bill

The Society’s Planning Law Committee was asked by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee to provide additional written evidence on s 4 of this bill (regulators’ duty in respect of sustainable economic growth). In its response the Society questioned the requirement for such a duty, which it considered would introduce some confusion about what should and should not be considered in any decision-making process. 

EU Balance of Competences

The Society hosted a Ministry of Justice stakeholder consultation event as part of the EU Balance of Competences review, focusing on civil and family judicial co-operation and the assessment of international civil and family law instruments. In its response to the MoJ call for evidence, the Society commented that civil courts need to co-operate with one another, particularly against the backdrop of the increasingly international, cross-jurisdictional nature of individuals’ lives and the commercial operations of businesses in the EU. 

Scottish Planning Policy

The Planning Law Committee responded to the Scottish Government consultation on draft Scottish Planning Policy. The committee was broadly supportive of the form, content, and tone of the document, stating that it considered it easy to follow and expected it to be easy to use for local authority users, developers, and those advising them.

Full details of the above, and further information on the current work of the Law Reform Department, can be found at www.lawscot.org.uk/forthepublic/law-reform-consultations-and-bills 
The team can be contacted via juliabrown@lawscot.org.uk, or follow us on Twitter: @lawscot  
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