Compulsory Purchase


Caroline Drummond
Dr Andrew Steven

Caroline Drummond - edited.jpg 091_edited.jpg

Team members

Kate Walker, Project Manager
Ross Grimley, Legal Assistant


Project Updates and News

Report to the Scottish Government on the Consolidated Responses to Discussion Paper on Compulsory Purchase No 159

The consultation period on the Scottish Law Commission’s Discussion Paper on Compulsory Purchase No 159, closed in June 2015, with submissions continuing to arrive until August 2015.

A Report was submitted to the Scottish Government on 22 September 2016, summarising the written submissions received, together with the input by stakeholders at the various engagement events hosted around the country by stakeholders between March 2015 and May 2016.  The Report can be accessed here, along with the individual formal submissions received which can be accessed here.

Consultation and engagement events

In December 2017 the team attended the Scottish Government's National Assembly on Compulsory Purchase.  This event provided an valuable opportunity to hear about the current work which the Scottish Government is doing and to engage in discussion with those involved in compulsory purchase both at Government and local level about the priorities for reform of this area in future.

Commissioner Caroline Drummond gave a presentation to the Scottish Compulsory Purchase Association's National Conference, held on 20 September 2017 in Dundee.  The presentation included a brief history of the SLC project, as well a discussion of the current progress on compulsory purchase.  The event provided an interesting opportunity to hear from a variety of speakers on compulsory purchase and to engage in discussion about areas which may require reform in future.

On 31 May 2017 the team attended a workshop on compulsory purchase, hosted by the Scottish Government at the Teacher building in Glasgow.  Commissioner Caroline Drummond presented a paper at this event, highlighting the key themes derived from last year’s Consolidated Responses Report. 

Commissioners Caroline Drummond and Dr Andrew Steven delivered a talk on some of the work of the SLC to members of the Edinburgh Maclay Murray and Spens Office on 18 April 2017.  Caroline and David Johnston QC delivered the same to members of the Glasgow office on 20 April.  During these events, the team gained interesting insight into aspects of compulsory purchase.

On 16 December 2016, the team delivered a presentation to the Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators in Scotland as part of a conference on planning and conveyancing, held in Glasgow City Chambers.  The presentation included a description of the work of the SLC, as well as a discussion on the current progress of the compulsory purchase project.

Commissioners Caroline Drummond and Dr Andrew Steven spoke at two seminars on Compulsory Purchase in May 2016 at the CMS offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Caroline Drummond attended the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers Association conference in Perth on 28 April 2016.  The event was well attended and considered blight, severance, fees and compulsory purchase experience while working with utilities.

The team attended two events organised by the Scottish Compulsory Purchase Association hosted in November 2015. The events were very well attended and we are considering the issues raised and discussed.

The team attended a series of events between 25 March and 27 April 2015 which explored the issues raised in the Commission's Discussion Paper on Compulsory Purchase. Dr Steven spoke about the conveyancing aspects of the project an event held on 16 April.


Follow us on Twitter: @scotlawcom and for compulsory purchase tweets follow #compulsorypurchase.

Commentaries and Interviews

23 April 2015: Summary of Compulsory Purchase Project published in Journal

In this month’s edition, the Scottish Planning and Environmental Law Journal publishes a very useful summary of the Commission’s project on the reform of Compulsory Purchase law by Burness Paull Partner and co-author of “Compulsory Purchase and Compensation: The Law in Scotland”, Elaine Farquharson-Black.

14 April 2015: Practitioner's views on DP

The Scottish Law Commission are pleased to see a practitioner’s views on our Compulsory Purchase Discussion Paper, published in this month’s Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.

17 March 2015: Interview with new Commissioner

The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland has today published its interview with recently appointed Commissioner, Caroline Drummond. Caroline is the lead Commissioner on the Scottish Law Commission’s compulsory purchase project, having joined after 27 years in practice as a Partner at Burness Paull LLP. The compulsory purchase project published its Discussion Paper on 17 December 2014, and is consulting on the Paper until 19 June 2015.


Publication of Discussion Paper

On 17 December 2014, the Scottish Law Commission published its eagerly anticipated Discussion Paper on Compulsory Purchase, No 159, for comments.  Please see the attached electronic response form.  A news release and consultee letter are also available.

The law on compulsory purchase recognises that there will be circumstances where the public interest in a particular project will be more important than the individual’s right to peaceful ownership of his or her private property.

This Discussion Paper sets out the current law on the matter, and asks questions about how it could be improved.  It also deals with the question of compensation, with a view to ensuring that the owner of property receives proper recompense for his or her loss.

The Paper suggests that there should be a new statute setting out the law so that everyone involved – public authorities, practitioners and landowners – can see clearly how the system works.

The consultation period ran until 19 June 2015.

For more information, please contact: