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Contract law reform 15/05/2014 The Scottish Government has introduced the Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill into the Scottish Parliament.

Contract law reform

The Scottish Government has introduced the Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill into the Scottish Parliament. It will implement the recommendations contained in the Scottish Law Commission’s recent Report on Formation of Contract: Execution in Counterpart (SLC No 231), published just over a year ago.

The Bill will make two major innovations to Scots law and practice:

  • Firstly, it will clarify that a document which is to be signed by two or more parties can be “executed in counterpart”, i.e. that each party can sign its own copy of the document, which will then be delivered to the other party or parties (or their nominee where there are several of them).
  • Secondly, the Bill will permit delivery of paper legal documents by electronic means, meaning that the document will take legal effect upon such delivery. This will resolve the current doubt as to whether faxing or emailing a copy of a signed paper document can make it legally effective.

These two advances are intended to promote confidence in using Scots law to form contracts and will make Scotland a better place to do business.

The Commission has welcomed the speed with which the Bill has been introduced. It is the first Bill to be considered for the new process for implementing Scottish Law Commission Reports, a procedure involving the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

 

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