Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement Review: report to Scottish Parliament

Statutory report to Scottish Parliament on review of Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, September 2022.

Revised Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement - Principle 1

Analysis Summary

Principle 1 was supported by a large majority of respondents as having continuing relevance to current Scottish land issues. Respondents supported the continued reference to human rights in relation to land, and the importance of referencing both public and private rights and responsibilities. A recurring theme was for more emphasis on public benefit, including by referring to the concept of the common good. However, other respondents stressed the need for the principle to reflect a balance between benefits to people and the economy and the need to achieve net zero. A number of respondents found this principle difficult to understand and thought that it should be simplified or streamlined.

Scottish Government Response

Given the majority support for Principle 1 amongst consultation respondents, it has been retained as a key principle which clearly defines what the overall framework of land rights and responsibilities should be, underpinned by human rights. Principle 1 refers to a high level framework for Scotland's system of land rights and responsibilities which takes a human rights based approach.

The Scottish Government has made two additions to the previous version of Principle 1. The first, the addition of a reference to a just transition to net zero, has been added to ensure that the principle refers to both the twin nature and climate crises which are key drivers of Scottish Government policy. The second addition is a reference to the common good. This is designed to highlight the role that the discharge of land rights and responsibilities and public policy can have in helping land provide wider public benefit. It has been added in response to a theme which emerged in consultation responses, as noted above, especially in relation to the Vision and Principle 1, for the for the Statement to more explicitly highlight the role of land in providing wider benefit. These wider benefits are also highlighted in Principle 4, and new Principle 5.

The remainder of the principles set out particular aspects of land rights and responsibilities, covering: diversity of land ownership and tenure; community ownership, management and use of land; high standards of stewardship and land ownership, management and use; the delivery of a wide range of benefits; transparency; and collaboration and engagement in relation to decisions about land.



Back to top