Judicial Factors Bill introduced

Legislation to reform ‘outdated’ law.

A Bill to reform and modernise the law relating to judicial factors has been published.

Judicial factors are appointed by courts to look after property belonging to someone else.  For example,  judicial factors can be appointed over a solicitors firm where there has been a breach of the Law Society of Scotland Accounting Rules or where a sole practitioner dies. They may also be appointed to wind up the estate of a deceased person, or to oversee charity property or the estate of a missing person.

The Judicial Factors (Scotland) Bill introduces a statutory framework which sets out the essential features of the office of judicial factor, and the broad parameters within which it should operate.

Victims and Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown said:

“The existing legislation on judicial factors dates back to the 19th century and is now regarded by those who use it as outdated, with a cumbersome procedure which is no longer fit for purpose.

“The Scottish Law Commission examined these issues in detail and made a number of recommendations. The provisions contained in this Bill aim to put in place an updated and comprehensive regime which will bring clarity, accessibility and efficiency to this vital but outmoded area of the law.”


Judicial Factors (Scotland) Bill

 In 2010, the SLC published a Discussion Paper on Judicial Factors in which it analysed the existing law. In 2013 the SLC published its recommendations for reform of the law.

In 2019, the Scottish Government consulted on the SLC’s recommendations and the current procedure for the appointment of judicial factors in cases of missing persons. Overall, the majority of respondents supported the SLC’s recommendations, confirming that there is a need for the existing legislation to be updated and modernised. The Bill takes forward without amendment the majority of the SLC’s recommendations for reform.

The introduction of the Bill is part of the Programme for Government 2023-24.


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