HC Deb 10 December 1975 vol 902 cc454-5
38. Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Lord Advocate when he next intends to meet the Scottish Law Commission.

The Lord Advocate

I have no formal meetings arranged with the Scottish Law Commission.

Mr. Taylor

Has the Lord Advocate seen the important case in the English High Court where a ruling was given that a householder who did not possess sewerage services should not pay rates? Does he regard that decision as raising an important principle? Is he willing to invite the Scottish Law Commission to examine this matter, because it could make a substantial difference to the rate liability of Scottish householders?

The Lord Advocate

Whether the law should be reviewed or changed is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. There is little point in referring the matter to the Scottish Law Commission, because there is no doubt about the legal position in Scotland. Sewerage is one of the many services the cost of which is met from regional sources. There is no parallel in England. The difference is that between rating on the one hand and charges for services on the other. The nearest situation in Scotland to the position in England concerns the arrangement for water services. In Scotland if a person does not receive water, he is not charged.

Mrs. Winifred Ewing

In view of the extent of EEC legislation, will the Lord Advocate recommend the appointment of an extra Law Commissioner in Scotland with the special duty of reviewing the enormous amount of legislation and its relationship to Scots law and Scots lawyers?

The Lord Advocate

The manning of the Scottish Law Commission is kept under constant review, in view of the heavy load that falls on that office. The amount of EEC legislation is one factor to be considered. As present I do not believe there is any necessity for the appointment of an additional Law Commissioner.

Forward to