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Response to third party rights proposals 06/10/2016 The Scottish Government has issued a response welcoming the recommendations in an SLC report on third party rights.

Response to third party rights proposals

The Scottish Government has issued a response welcoming the recommendations in a Scottish Law Commission (SLC) report on third party rights. It has also indicated that the proposed Bill will be suitable for the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee process.

This process ensures that more Parliamentary time will be given to the Bill, which is aimed at reforming the Scottish legal principle of jus quaesitum tertio.

Scots law has traditionally allowed the parties to a contract to create rights under their contract for others (who are called “third parties”, to mark out the distinction between them and the contracting parties). The process goes by the Latin name of jus quaesitum tertio. By contrast, English and Welsh law, and many other common law systems, did not permit this, on the basis that strangers to a contract should not have rights under it.

In recent years, however, a number of those jurisdictions have passed legislation allowing third-party rights to be created, and they do so in ways that point up the deficiencies in the long-standing Scottish common law rules. The last major development in Scots law came from a House of Lords decision in 1920, and the resulting rules have not kept pace with contemporary demands.

The SLC has therefore recommended that the common law be replaced by a modern, updated statute which would put Scotland back on the map in this area.

The report can be found here and the Government’s response is here.


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