Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2016.

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Photo of Nigel Don Nigel Don Scottish National Party

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill, although, as I say that, it occurs to me that I may be one of a rare breed who would be interested in speaking on the topic.

This is a rare example of a consolidation bill. The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee first had to decide whether consolidation was appropriate; then it had to consider whether the text was clear, coherent and consistent, and whether the law remained unchanged, as it must. The committee found that scrutiny of the consolidation bill was very much in keeping with the other work that we carry out, as we are used to considering technical and complex legal matters.

Like the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Bill, the only previous example of a consolidation bill, which was passed back in 2003, the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill was introduced late in the session. The committee was able to undertake the necessary scrutiny of the bill in the short time available, but it should be noted that we were fortunate that we did not on this occasion need to consider a large number of Scottish Law Commission recommendations, as those would have made it much more challenging.

There are other areas of law that would benefit from consolidation. Indeed, the committee recommended last year that the law on succession, some of which dates back to the 16th century, should be consolidated. That is another area of law that has widespread impact.