Bill consolidates Scottish bankruptcy legislation
Scottish bankruptcy legislation is to be consolidated making it more coherent and accessible.
Scottish laws on insolvency are to be brought together into one piece of legislation for the first time in a generation as the new Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill 2016 is introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
The Bill aims to capture all of the amendments made to the primary legislation governing bankruptcy in Scotland, the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985, as well as new laws brought in since, including the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014, which came into force in April this year.
By consolidating all of the various elements of legislation in one place, the aim of the Bill is to make bankruptcy policy more accessible, both for the money advice community and those experiencing financial difficulties.
The Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill is only the second ever piece of primary consolidation legislation considered by the Scottish Parliament, following the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Consolidation Act 2003.
The introduction of the Bill to the parliament signals the commencement of the parliamentary process, which will see scrutiny by committee before its anticipated enactment in November 2016.
The consolidation exercise has been warmly received by the money advice and insolvency industry.
David Menzies, ICAS Director of Insolvency, said: “ICAS welcomes the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill 2016 being introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
“Bringing the many reforms to bankruptcy law in Scotland over the past 30 years into a single piece of legislation will be extremely useful to insolvency practitioners and others working in the sector who currently face having to navigate their way through numerous pieces of legislation.
“We support the work to fully modernise the bankruptcy regime in Scotland. While further work will remain to be required to achieve this, the Bill marks another significant step to achieving that aim.”
Business Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Pulling together all the enactments of bankruptcy into one statute provides a platform to deliver debt solutions fit for the 21st century.
“The time is right to bring all of these elements together. The 1985 Act has been heavily amended over the years and has lost coherence and structure as a result.
You can find out more in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) Briefing Paper and on the Accountant in Bankruptcy website.