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

Commission and Diligence in Family Actions in the Civil Courts

The Family Law Committee provided comments to the Scottish Government on suggestions that the law needs to be changed in relation to the way commission and diligence is exercised in family actions in the civil courts.

In general, we believe that the existing law is appropriate. Each case must be assessed on its own circumstances and the discretion of the court is a suitable safeguard in relation to confidential information. The types of issues in family cases where commission and diligence may be used cover a range of matters, including financial as well as welfare. Although we agree that the existing law is adequate, we also agree that, in cases where information being sought relates to children or vulnerable adults who have received care and support services, particular regard should be given to confidentiality and welfare issues.

We have also suggested considering the introduction of a rule stating that havers should always have to lodge a sealed envelope where information is being disclosed in respect of any child or vulnerable adult.

The full consultation response is available to read on the website