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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight from Holyrood Live...

    Holyrood

    That ends our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Thursday 21 September 2017.

    We'll be back next week.

    Have a good weekend.

  2. We now move to decision time.....

    MSPs will now vote on whether to pass the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill.

  3. The ability to create third party rights is important says minister

    Annabelle Ewing

    Ms Ewing thanks the committee for its help on this Bill and says the government took the view of the committee on board.

    The legal affairs minister says the ability to create third party rights is important.

    She says legislation like this often manages to have momentum of its own and practitioners and professions have a responsibility to promote the Bill.

    Ms Ewing says once people start using the provisions of the Bill that should instill confidence that it is fit for purpose.

    The minister calls on MSPs to pass the Bill.

  4. 'It's goodbye to jus quaesitum tertio'

    Legal Rights Minister Annabelle Ewing says: "It's goodbye to jus quaesitum tertio."

    Common law doctrine of jus quaesitum tertio will be removed by the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill.

    It means "rights on account of third parties".

  5. 'Simplification and clarification of the law is a good thing'

    Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst
    Image caption: Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst

    Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst says: "We can all agree the simplification and clarification of the law is a good thing."

    Mr Lindhurst says a question mark has been raised over the operation of the act.

    He asks the cabinet secretary for clarification.

  6. Labour MSP says the Bill's intention is to promote the use of Scots law

    Mary Fee
    Image caption: Labour MSP Mary Fee

    Labour MSP Mary Fee thanks the Scottish Law Commission for undertaking the work that has resulted in the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill.

    Ms Fee says the Bill has the backing of stakeholders.

    She says this Bill's intention is to promote the use of Scots law.

    However some may continue to use English law and that is something MSPs will have to be mindful of.

  7. Delegated Powers and Law Reform conclusions on the general principles of the Bill

    • It appears clear to the Committee that codifying the law of third party rights has been generally welcomed by stakeholders.
    • The Committee accepts that consensus exists around the Bill.
    • The Committee recognises that the Bill may not be used widely in the short-term, but is hopeful that the flexibility and certainty that the Bill offers will lead to greater use in the near future.
    • Given that the aim of the Bill is to provide certainty, the Committee welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to reflect further on the suggestions made to the Committee about the clarity of the drafting of some provisions.
    • The Committee welcomes the recognition that the Scottish Government has given to the evidence provided to the Committee so far and its willingness to reflect on the suggestions made to the Committee.
    • The Committee recommends to the Parliament that the general principles of the Bill be agreed to.
  8. The Bill has received considerable scrutiny

    Labour MSP Claire Baker

    Labour MSP Claire Baker says the minister recognised the arguments from the Law Society on section 10.

    Ms Baker says the Bill has received considerable scrutiny.

    She says it will provide a statutory framework on third party rights.

    Ms Baker aks what role the government can play in promoting the use of this Bill.

  9. Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee report

    The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee published its report on the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill on 12 May 2017.

    1. The Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill is a Scottish Law Commission Bill. The Bill reforms the common law on third party rights and replaces it with a statutory version.
    2. The Bill has been introduced with a view to providing greater certainty and flexibility in this area of law. The Committee found that as result of the current uncertainty around the current common law on third party rights, legal practitioners and their clients are using workarounds such as collateral warranties or English law.
    3. It appears clear to the Committee that codifying the law of third party rights is welcomed by stakeholders.
    4. While there is universal support for the Bill, the evidence the Committee received suggested that there would not be an immediate uptake of the Bill. The Committee recognises that the Bill may not be widely used in the short-term, but is hopeful that the flexibility and certainty that the Bill offers will lead to greater use in the future.
    5. A number of suggestions were made to the Committee in evidence advocating changes to the drafting of the Bill to improve its clarity. It is critical that this legislation is clear and usable and the Committee therefore welcomes the Scottish Government's commitment to review these suggestions.
    6. The Committee welcomes this legislation and recommends that the general principles of the Bill be agreed to.
  10. Some may find the Bill 'dry, technical and even ever so slightly dull' - but stay with us!

    Tory MSP Graham Simpson
    Image caption: Tory MSP Graham Simpson

    Tory MSP Graham Simpson says contract law was not something he talked about much as a Scottish Sun journalist.

    Mr Simpson says the Bill will improve the law in Scotland which he welcomes.

    He says some find the bill "dry, technical and even ever so slightly dull" but he says it provides clarity.

    The Tory MSPs says, however, it will help real people in everyday circumstances.

  11. Bill will ensure an important area of the law is updated

    Ms Ewing says voting for this Bill will ensure an important area of the law is updated.

    The legal affairs minister says this will make sure it is fit for purpose.

    She moves the Bill in her name.

  12. 'The current uncertainty of third party rights damages the reputation of Scots law'

    Ms Ewing

    Ms Ewing says: "The current uncertainty of third party rights damages the reputation of Scots law."

    The legal affairs minister says the workarounds like using English law bring their own problems.

    She says this Bill will improve the standing of Scots law.

    It abolishes the common law rule she says and addresses the issue of irrevocability.

  13. Background: SPICe briefing: More

    The changes proposed are based on recommendations made by the Scottish Law Commission (SLC), which found in 2016 that the existing law is no longer fit for purpose.

    The main proposal is the abolition of the existing rule that third-party rights have to be irrevocable to be created – in other words that the parties must intend to give up the right to change their minds about granting the right.

    contract

    According to the SLC, this rule creates a significant barrier to the use of third-party rights as it restricts the freedom of the contracting parties to:

    1. set up flexible contracts at the outset
    2. and 2. adjust contracts in response to future events – i.e. by bringing the third-party right to an end, or varying it, before the right holder enforces it.

    Other proposals are aimed at clarifying current areas of uncertainty in the common law.

    The Bill also includes new rules which mean that third-party rights to arbitrate could be created.

    The general aim behind the Bill is to provide a new statutory framework with clearer, more usable rules on third-party rights.

    Read more here.

  14. Bill is of a specialist nature but its provisions have the potential to impact on anyone

    Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing

    Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing says the Bill is of a specialist nature but its provisions have the potential to impact on anyone.

    Ms Ewing says this is the first change to this law for the past 100 years.

    The legal affairs minister says the law has previously been criticised for being unclear meaning English law if often chosed over Scottish law which damages Scots law reputation.

  15. Background: SPICe briefing on Contract (Third Party Rights)(Scotland) Bill

    The Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 31 January 2017.

    It proposes codifying and updating the existing common law on third-party rights – i.e. the rules in case law which allow the parties to a contract to grant rights to third parties.

    Third party rights may be used in a variety of situations, for example by companies which want other companies in their group to be covered by a contract, or where someone wants to ensure that the benefits of an insurance contract are payable to another person (e.g. a third-party driver in a motor insurance policy).

  16. Background: The Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill

    The Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill (the Bill) proposes changing the law in Scotland which allows the parties to a contract to create rights for third parties.

    The aim is to make the law clearer and more usable.

    The Bill implements the recommendations made by the Scottish Law Commission in its 2016 Report “Review of Contract – Report on Third Party Rights”.

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  17. Stage 3 Proceedings: Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill

    Contract

    MSPs will now debate the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill for the final time.

    The bill aims to reform the current rule of contract law which creates an "enforceable right" in favour of a third party and replace it with a "statutory version".