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Reform of compulsory purchase? 17/12/2014 The Scottish Law Commission has published a Discussion Paper on Compulsory Purchase in Scotland, suggesting that a new statute is required.

Reform of compulsory purchase?

The Scottish Law Commission has published a Discussion Paper on Compulsory Purchase in Scotland, suggesting that a new statute is required so that all of those involved can clearly see how the system works.

The law on compulsory purchase recognises that there will be circumstances where the public interest in a particular project will be more important than the individual’s right to undisturbed ownership of his or her private property.

The essential problem is that the law on compulsory purchase is largely set out in legislation passed between the middle of the nineteenth century and the middle of the twentieth century. It is therefore largely out of date. This Discussion Paper sets out the current law on the matter, and asks questions about how it could be improved. It also deals with the question of compensation, with a view to ensuring that the owner of property receives proper recompense for his or her loss.

“We can’t do without a system of compulsory purchase. But if we are going to have one, it should work properly, so that everyone affected knows where they stand,” said Patrick Layden QC, the lead Commissioner on the project. “The law in Scotland is out of date and gives rise to considerable difficulties in practice.”

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