Scottish Law Commission

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Scottish Law Commission
Logo of the Scottish Law Commission, including the slogan "Promoting law reform".
Scottish Law Commission logo
Map showing the location of Scotland within the United Kingdom and Europe
Scotland in the UK and Europe
Established 1965 (1965)
Type Advisory non-departmental public body sponsored by the Scottish Government Constitution, Law and Courts Directorate
Legal status Created by the Law Commissions Act 1965
Purpose To keep the law of Scotland under review and to recommend reform where needed
Headquarters 140 Causewayside. Edinburgh EH9 1PR
Coordinates 55°56′06″N 3°10′58″W / 55.93489°N 3.18291°W / 55.93489; -3.18291Coordinates: 55°56′06″N 3°10′58″W / 55.93489°N 3.18291°W / 55.93489; -3.18291
Region served
Official language
Paul Cullen, Lord Pentland
Chief Executive
Malcolm McMillan
Slogan "Promoting law reform"

The Scottish Law Commission is Scottish advisory public body established by Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1965 to keep the law of Scotland under review and recommend necessary reforms to improve, simplify and update Scots law. It was established by the Law Commissions Act 1965 (as amended) at the same time as the Law Commission in England and Wales.[1] Appointments are ordinarily made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland's Code of Practice.


The Commission exists to keep Scots law under review and recommend reform as needed. The Commission's scope encompasses devolved and reserved matters, as defined by the Scotland Act 1998 and as such has duty for laws that are the responsibility of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as well as those that are the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament.[2]


The Commission consists of 5 Commissioners appointed by the Scottish Ministers.[3] One of the Commissioners is the Chairman who by convention is a Senator of the College of Justice. The other Commissioners are drawn from those holding judicial office, advocates, solicitors or university law teachers. Commissioners are appointed for a maximum term of 5 years with the possibility of re-appointment. The current Commissioners are as follows:

  1. The Hon Lord Pentland (Chairman)
  2. Caroline Drummond
  3. David Johnston QC
  4. Professor Hector MacQueen
  5. Dr Andrew Steven

The Commissioners are supported by the Chief Executive of the Commission, Mr Malcolm McMillan, and by both legal and non-legal staff. All permanent staff are seconded from the Scottish Government.


  1. ^ "Law Commissions Act 1965". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "About us: What we do". Scottish Law Commission. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "About us: Who we are". Scottish Law Commission. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

Stark, Shona Wilson (2014). "The Longer You Can Look Back, The Further You Can Look Forward: The Origins of the Scottish Law Commission". Edinburgh Law Review. 18 (1): 59–83. doi:10.3366/elr.2014.0187. 

External links[edit]