The Scottish Land Court and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland are to merge into a single body dealing with land and property issues.

Following a public consultation last year, Scottish ministers have concluded that a unified and expanded Land Court would offer substantial benefits to court users.

Joining the two bodies is expected to provide a more streamlined service, with personnel from each body being deployed flexibly and making the process simpler, clearer and easier for those who need it.

Legislation will be brought forward during the current Parliament.

Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham commented: "Incorporating the two bodies into an expanded Scottish Land Court is an important step forward in providing a more efficient service and offering greater clarity to those who presently use them. 

"Users will be able to benefit from a one stop shop, providing a more streamlined process that will be clearer and easier to understand and navigate.

"While modernisation will deliver significant improvements, a very important part of this change will be to ensure that the traditional character and the respect both bodies have for dealing with various types of dispute are retained by the reformed court."

Lord Minginish, Chair of the Scottish Land Court and President of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland, added: "I am delighted that the Scottish Government has decided to proceed with the unification of the two bodies over which I preside, following the proposals that I brought forward shortly after my appointment as Chair of the Land Court and President of the Lands Tribunal.  

"Both the Tribunal and the Court have always been valued by their users, and I believe this change will provide a better service to the public, providing a one stop shop for most land issues.

"It will also allow the personnel and talents which each of these bodies possesses to be available across the entire spectrum of their jurisdictions, putting an end to current statutory anomalies whereby certain questions can get referred from one body to the other.

"Going forward, the best attributes of both the Court and Tribunal will be preserved to deliver a quality land law litigation service across Scotland."