The new Scottish legislation on bankruptcy comes into force from today, providing a single statuory code oin the form of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016.

The Act captures all of the amendments made to the primary legislation governing bankruptcy in Scotland, the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985, including the wide-ranging reforms introduced in April 2015 through the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014. The existing Bankruptcy Regulations have also been updated and consolidated and will come into force along with the new Act.

It results from work by the Scottish Law Commission, in collaboration with the Accountant in Bankruptcy. It is only the second consolidating measure passed by the thScottish Parliament, following the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003.

By consolidating all of the various elements of legislation in one place, the aim of the new Act is to make the complex area of bankruptcy more accessible for insolvency professionals, money advisers and those experiencing financial difficulties.

The Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act is only the second ever consolidation of primary legislation considered by 

Welcoming the new legislation, Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy said: “Much has changed in the 30 years since the existing bankruptcy Act was introduced and there is no doubt it has become somewhat impenetrable.

“This valuable work to clean up the statute book will make the legislation much easier to use and understand and has created the platform upon which debt solutions appropriate for the challenges we face today can be delivered.

“There has been a comprehensive programme of consultation – and I thank all those who fed their views to us – and it is tremendously pleasing to see this activity bearing fruit with the legislation coming into force today.”

Transitional guidance by the Accountant in Bankruptcy can be found by clicking here.

Journal articles on the Act have been contributed by Graham Fisher and Alan McIntosh.