The Scottish Law Commission is an advisory non-departmental public body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965.
The Commission is sponsored by, but exercises functions under the 1965 Act independently from, the Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Government.
The function of the Commission under the 1965 Act is to keep under review the law in Scotland, with a view to its systematic development and reform, and generally the simplification and modernisation of the law.
For that purpose, we consult widely on proposed changes to the law, seeking views from both:
- Members of the public
- Those who have a particular interest in any project.
In particular, we work with legal practitioners, with academics and other experts, with Government at all levels, and with the Scottish and UK Parliaments.
We make recommendations for law reform based on the views of consultees.
We use personal information in line with our obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679).
How we collect, use and remove personal information
We collect and use personal information in order to carry out our work on law reform, and to meet our obligations to persons appointed to the Commission, or employed on our work.
This includes information we collect and use about:
- visitors to our website
- people who work with us as we develop our proposals for law reform
- people who ask to be kept informed about our work
- people who provide us with services
- past, current and future Commissioners and members of staff
- enquiries and complaints
We share personal information with some third parties as described in this privacy statement. We do not use or share information for commercial or marketing purposes.
We keep personal information only for as long as it is needed, after which it is destroyed.
Please read our retention policy for further details about how long we keep information.
Please read on for more information about our processing.
Lawfulness of processing
We use the personal information of:
- people who work with us, or wish to do so,
- people who provide us with goods or services, or wish to do so
only in so far as is necessary for the performance of an employment or other contract.
We use the personal information of people who contribute to our reports and discussion papers only in so far as is necessary in order to carry out our work on law reform, which is a task in the public interest.
We use the personal information of people who ask to be kept informed about our work with their consent, which can be withdrawn at any time by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you visit our website
We do not ask for the personal information of people who visit our website.
We consult the public on proposals for law reform as set out in our published discussion papers.
We also carry out other less formal consultations. That might include, for example, seeking the views of a professional group in a survey or questionnaire.
We meet regularly with persons who have a particular interest in a project. That might include subject matter experts who are taking part in an advisory group for the project.
We will use personal information for the purpose of recording the opinions of individuals on a matter being investigated, and in particular for the purposes of assessing the strength and weight of opinion for or against any particular reform.
We may publish information about such opinions on our website, or in a discussion paper or report.
We may share such information with Government, or with the UK or Scottish Parliaments, for the purpose of implementing a proposed change in the law.
We will however consider a request not to share information held for the purposes of our work with any other person.
Keeping in touch
If you ask to be kept informed about our work, or follow us through any social media channel such as Facebook or Twitter, then we will collect and use your personal information for the purpose of keeping in touch with you.
If you work with us, or want to
Our Commissioners are appointed by the Scottish Ministers for a fixed term in office.
Our project managers, legal assistants, and administrators are employed by the Scottish Government. They may be seconded to the Commission, or directly recruited.
From time to time, we employ consultants to assist us on a project.
If you apply, or are assigned, to work with us then we will collect and use your personal information as appropriate for the purposes of:
- effecting a transfer
If you are unsuccessful we will keep your information for one year before destroying it.
We will use information provided in the context of an unsuccessful application to provide feedback, to comply with diversity and equalities legislation, and to enable compliance with our duties as a public sector employer.
If you work with us then we will collect and use your personal information for the purposes of our work, and of your employment.
That includes collecting and using personal information in order to meet statutory and regulatory obligations, and to administer reward (in the form of pay, pension, and other benefits).
The Scottish Government provide payroll and human resources services, in particular for our legal and administrative staff (who are their employees).
We share personal information with the Scottish Government for that purpose. That includes where appropriate information about racial and ethnic origin, about beliefs, and about sexual orientation.
If you supply goods or services
We may collect and use the personal information of suppliers and service providers, for the purpose of obtaining such supplies and services.
We may share this information with other suppliers and service providers, but only where necessary for that purpose.
If you ask us for information about the Commission or our work then we will collect and use your personal information for the purposes of investigating and replying.
Finding out what information we hold
You can find out if we hold any personal information about you by making a request under the General Data Protection Regulation, sometimes called a ‘subject access request’.
We will reply to your request within 30 days.
If we hold information about you, we will describe what the information is, tell you why we have it, tell you who it may be disclosed to, and let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
You will not be asked to pay a fee for replying to a subject access request.
You may be asked to pay a small fee to cover the cost of sending you further copies of any information we supply.
Your other rights
If we hold any inaccurate or incomplete information about you, you can also ask us to correct any mistake or complete the information.
You can ask us to destroy information we hold if the information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected.
You can ask us not to use information without your consent if it is inaccurate, if we no longer need it (but you do), or if we have misused it but you do not want it destroyed.
Sharing your information
We will share personal information with other organisations for the purpose of our public task of law reform, where required by law, for the prevention or detection of crime, or for regulatory purposes.
We may need to share information with those who help us to carry out our functions, including our IT and communications providers, and our legal advisors.
We use closed circuit cameras in parts of our premises at 140 Causewayside in Edinburgh, where access to sensitive equipment is restricted.
Personal information is collected, used and kept for the purposes of enhancing the safety of staff and visitors, of security, and the detection and prevention of crime.
If you make a complaint, then we will collect and use your personal information for the purposes of investigating and replying.
If you have a concern about the way in which we manage your personal information, for example that you think we have not dealt properly with a request or complaint, then you can ask the independent Information Commissioner to consider whether any action is needed.
This statement was last updated on 24 May 2018. It will be reviewed annually.