This post is in response to a couple of queries I have had about assessing legislative drafting for undergraduate LLB students. I try to summarise the background here and will give the assessment we used in 2020 to let others see what students were set and to give a sense of the standard we expected.

In my one semester long Legislation Honours class for senior undergraduate students we split the class between statutory interpretation (for half of the class) and legislative drafting (for the second half of the class).

The class is assessed by an interpretation question and then by…


Freedom of expression options to Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill

1. My name is Scott Wortley. I am a lecturer in law at the University of Edinburgh and have a particular interest in issues relating to legislation and statutory interpretation.

2. I note the proposals which have been put to the committee by the Justice Secretary and just wanted to note some observations on the provisions. I have three general issues for consideration by the committee: (a) thinking about the audience for legislation and the implications that identification of the audience has for what appears in the text…


COvid restrictions on gatherings and movement — Scotland

I thought it might be useful to incorporate today’s amendments into the existing law to have them in one place pending the changes being added on the legislation.gov.uk website.

The main Scottish regulations for level 4 are here https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/344/schedule/5.

The amendments are detailed in today’s SSI https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2021/1/contents/made

I have tried to mark the substantive amendments in bold (aside tomthe use of bold for headings) in the following

PART 3 Restrictions on gatherings

Restriction on public gatherings indoors in Level 4 area

11. — (1) A person must not participate in a gathering…


21 December 1988

Remembering can be hard. Memories you cannot move, unwanted. No matter how you wish they were gone. And there are those memories you reach for, where there are shadows in the corners of your eyes, always there, just out of focus. And there are those that are not memories. Where a smell or a sound, an image or a thought transports you from now to then. Where the instant of recollection leaves you a time traveller, trapped in your body of years before, aware of then, aware of now, wanting to warn him, to speak, but as you open his…


one of the difficulties in keeping up to speed on the Coronavirus regulations is that even after a consolidation of regulations in one text, they are often swiftly amended by others.

The current consolidated text is in The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/ 279) which is found here. But it has already been amended today by The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/300) which is found here)

One of the difficulties in piecing together legislation where there are amendments is that the amendments rarely repeal and replace provisions…


I have posted a few threads on twitter recently which have tried to explain a little about the differentiation between policy issues and drafting issues in legislation. I am very conscious that often criticism of legislation can suggest that something is badly drafted when on closer exploration what the critic really has concerns about is the policy which underpins the legislation.

Part of this problem arises because many people are unaware of the drafting and policy formulation processes and refer to drafting to cover all of it. …


The floating charge is a statutory creation in Scotland — the law is currently found in Companies Act 1985, ss 462–466. The charge was introduced initially (in 1961 in Scotland) to give debtor companies the opportunity to raise finance by granting a non possessory security to creditors — where generally Scots law prohibits the grant of express non possessory securities.

One of the most complicated issues that arises in the law of floating charges is the question of competition between a floating charge and a third party creditor.

So, for example, a floating charge holder Bank A has a priority…


The referendum vote to leave the European Union raises a number of complex legal questions, some of which are going to be addressed in the upcoming litigation considering whether Parliament must be involved in the decision to trigger Article 50. In a recent post at IPKat Ellie Wilson raises a query about the impact of repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 on the secondary legislation implementing European Union law made under section 2(2) that Act.

The query is

“One apparently insignificant footnote in the Opinion caught the IPKat’s eye. Footnote 18 states “Although secondary legislation enacted under section 2(2)…

Scott Wortley

Law lecturer. Interest in Scots property law, conveyancing, debt and insolvency, statutory interpretation and legislation.

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