Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016

JurisdictionScotland
Citation2016 asp 18


Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016

2016 asp 18

The Bill for this Act of the Scottish Parliament was passed by the Parliament on 16th March 2016 and received Royal Assent on 22nd April 2016

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision for a land rights and responsibilities statement; to establish the Scottish Land Commission, provide for its functions and the functions of the Land Commissioners and the Tenant Farming Commissioner; to make provision about access to, and provision of, information about owners and controllers of land; to make provision about engaging communities in decisions relating to land; to enable certain persons to buy land to further sustainable development; to make provision for non-domestic rates to be levied on shootings and deer forests; to make provision about the change of use of common good land; to make provision about the management of deer on land; to make provision about access rights to land; to amend the law on agricultural holdings to provide for new forms of agricultural tenancy, to remove the requirement to register before tenants of certain holdings can exercise a right to buy, to provide a new power of sale where a landlord is in breach of certain obligations, to provide about rent reviews, to expand the list of the persons to whom holdings can be assigned or bequeathed and to whom holdings can be transferred on intestacy and to make provision about landlords’ objections to such successor tenants, to provide for certain holdings to be relinquished where landlords agree or assigned to persons new to or progressing in farming, to provide for a 3 year amnesty period in relation to certain improvements carried out by tenants, and to provide for notice of certain improvements proposed by landlords; and for connected purposes.

1 Land rights and responsibilities statement

PART 1

Land rights and responsibilities statement

S-1 Land rights and responsibilities statement

1 Land rights and responsibilities statement

(1) The Scottish Ministers must prepare and publish a land rights and responsibilities statement.

(2) A “land rights and responsibilities statement” is a statement of principles for land rights and responsibilities in Scotland.

(3) In preparing the statement, the Scottish Ministers must have regard to the desirability of—

(a) promoting respect for, and observance of, relevant human rights,

(b) promoting respect for such internationally accepted principles and standards for responsible practices in relation to land as the Scottish Ministers consider to be relevant,

(c) encouraging equal opportunities (within the meaning of Section L2 of Part 2 of schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998),

(d) furthering the reduction of inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage,

(e) supporting and facilitating community empowerment,

(f) increasing the diversity of land ownership, and

(g) furthering the achievement of sustainable development in relation to land.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)(a)––

(a) “relevant human rights” means such human rights as the Scottish Ministers consider to be relevant to the preparation of the statement, and

(b) in considering what human rights are relevant human rights, Ministers may consult the Scottish Commission for Human Rights and such other persons or bodies as they consider appropriate.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (3)(b), “internationally accepted principles and standards for responsible practices in relation to land” include the principles and standards contained in the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security on 11 May 2012.

(6) In this section “human rights” means—

(a) the Convention rights (within the meaning of section 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998), and

(b) other human rights contained in any international convention, treaty or other international instrument ratified by the United Kingdom, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 subject to—

(i) any amendments in force in relation to the United Kingdom for the time being, and

(ii) any reservations, objections or interpretative declarations by the United Kingdom for the time being in force.

S-2 Publication and review of land rights and responsibilities statement

2 Publication and review of land rights and responsibilities statement

(1) The Scottish Ministers must publish the first land rights and responsibilities statement and lay it before the Scottish Parliament before the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which this section comes into force.

(2) Before complying with subsection (1), the Scottish Ministers must publish a draft of the statement and consult such persons as they consider appropriate.

(3) The Scottish Ministers must lay before the Scottish Parliament a report setting out—

(a) the consultation process undertaken in order to comply with subsection (2), and

(b) the ways in which views expressed during that process have been taken account of in preparing the statement (or stating that no account has been taken of such views).

(4) The Scottish Ministers must review the first statement before the end of the period of 5 years beginning with the day on which the Scottish Ministers published the statement.

(5) In carrying out the review of the statement, the Scottish Ministers must consult such persons as they consider appropriate.

(6) If, following the review under subsection (4), the Scottish Ministers consider that it is not appropriate to prepare a revised statement, they must lay before the Scottish Parliament a report setting out—

(a) the consultation process undertaken in order to comply with subsection (5), and

(b) the reasons why they consider that it is not appropriate to prepare a revised statement.

(7) If, following the review under subsection (4), the Scottish Ministers consider that it is appropriate to prepare a revised statement, they must—

(a) publish the revised statement and lay it before the Scottish Parliament, and

(b) lay before the Scottish Parliament a report setting out—

(i) the consultation process undertaken in order to comply with subsection (5), and

(ii) the reasons why they consider that it is appropriate to prepare a revised statement.

(8) The Scottish Ministers must review the statement, or revised statement, before the end of each period of 5 years beginning with the day on which they last laid before the Scottish Parliament the report under subsection (6) or, as the case may be, (7)(b).

(9) Subsections (5) to (7) apply to the review of a statement, or revised statement, under subsection (8) as they apply to the review of the first statement under subsection (4).

S-3 Duty to promote land rights and responsibilities statement

3 Duty to promote land rights and responsibilities statement

The Scottish Ministers must, in exercising their functions and so far as reasonably practicable, promote the principles set out in the land rights and responsibilities statement.

2 The Scottish Land Commission

PART 2

The Scottish Land Commission

CHAPTER 1

The Commission

Establishment

Establishment

S-4 The Scottish Land Commission

4 The Scottish Land Commission

(1) The Scottish Land Commission (in Gaelic, Coimisean Fearainn na h-Alba) is established by this section.

(2) In this Act, it is referred to as “the Commission”.

(3) The Commission is a body corporate.

(4) The Commission is to consist of the following members—

(a) five Land Commissioners, and

(b) the Tenant Farming Commissioner.

(5) The Scottish Ministers may by regulations amend subsection (4)(a) so as to alter the number of Land Commissioners.

(6) The Commission has the functions conferred by section 6.

(7) The Land Commissioners have the functions conferred by section 22.

(8) The Tenant Farming Commissioner has the functions conferred by section 24.

S-5 Status

5 Status

(1) The Commission is not a servant or agent of the Crown.

(2) It does not enjoy any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown.

(3) Its property is not property of, or property held on behalf of, the Crown.

(4) Its members and staff—

(a) are not servants or agents of the Crown,

(b) have no status, immunity or privilege of the Crown,

(c) are not to be regarded as civil servants.

Functions of the Commission

Functions of the Commission

S-6 Functions of the Commission

6 Functions of the Commission

The functions of the Commission are—

(a) to provide the Land Commissioners and Tenant Farming Commissioner with the property, staff and services needed to perform their respective functions, and

(b) to make such arrangements as are appropriate and practicable for the co-ordination of the performance of those respective functions.

S-7 General powers

7 General powers

(1) The Commission may do anything which it considers—

(a) to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of, or in connection with, the exercise of—

(i) its functions,

(ii) the functions of the Land Commissioners,

(iii) the functions of the Tenant Farming Commissioner,

(b) to be conducive to the exercise of those respective functions.

(2) In particular, the Commission may—

(a) enter into contracts,

(b) acquire and dispose of land,

(c) co-operate...

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