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Schedule 1 — The Crofting Commission

Part of Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:06 am on 1st July 2010.

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Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party 11:06 am, 1st July 2010

Amendment 99 is a slightly bizarre follow-up to amendment 51 at stage 2, with which Elaine Murray sought to remove the clarification that the commission is not a Crown body and is not to be regarded as having any status, privilege or immunity of the Crown. That is, in fact, the normal position for an executive non-departmental public body such as the commission. Most modern legislation relating to executive NDPBs is explicit on that and includes these provisions. The overwhelming majority of executive NDPBs do not have Crown status or immunity.

The intention behind amendment 99 is unclear. The member proposes that this executive NDPB is not a Crown body but somehow enjoys Crown immunity, which is illogical. Let me make it clear: the commission makes decisions as a body corporate; commissioners do not make decisions individually. Furthermore, as a regulatory body, the commission exercises administrative, not judicial, functions. Crown immunity would offer no protection in the highly unlikely case that someone tried to sue the commission, as Crown immunity does not apply to the exercise of administrative functions. I therefore urge members to reject this confusing amendment.