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Scottish Law

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Terms of reference

The Working Party seeks to:

  • influence the development of Scots environmental law by responding to key consultation papers, with the object of being a sought-after consultee in Scotland.
  • share knowledge and opinions by discussing recent developments in Scots environmental law, or UK or EU law as it applies to Scotland.
  • promote education in both environmental law and environmental issues by feeding through issues and suggested speakers to UKELA's Scotland Regional Group.

UKELA Scotland aims to respond to relevant consultation papers when they are published. Copies of consultation responses are available below. Most of the group's communications are electronic. It is interested in attracting more members who wish to get involved with influencing environmental law in Scotland as it develops. Contact the relevant topic group convenor for more information.

Topic Groups

The Working Party has topic based convenors to lead on consultations on specific topics. If you would like to join one of the groups please contact the convenors below.

Climate Change and Energy: Gordon McCreath (see right) and Richard Leslie - Richard.Leslie@todsmurray.com

Contaminated Land: Nick Atkins - Nick.Atkins@morton-fraser.com

Nature Conservation: Dr Colin Reid - c.t.reid@dundee.ac.uk

Planning: position currently vacant

Water: Sarah Hendry - S.M.Hendry@dundee.ac.uk and Ian Cowan - ian@highlaw.co.uk

Waste: Francis McManus - f.mcmanus1@btinternet.com

Next meetings

We will shortly be adding details of our next meeting.

Events information

Recent Activities

The Scottish Law Working Party responded in June 2016 to the Scottish Government's consultation on Developments in Environmental Justice in Scotland. The response expressed disappointment in the restricted view taken of the topic, in particular the narrow range of environmental matters covered and the lack of a consideration of developments in other jurisdictions. You can read the response below.

The Working Party has taken a particularly active interest in Scotland's overhaul of the current regulatory system through the Better Regulation Framework and the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. We responded in August 2014 to the Scottish Government's Consultation on Statutory Guidance on the General Purpose for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). In May 2014 we submitted a response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the Code of Practice which will accompany the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. The Code is a high level, strategic document to assist regulators in achieving 'Sustainable Economic Growth' (SEG) when delivering core functions. Amongst other points, our response highlighted areas of concern such as the overarching, strong focus on SEG instead of adequately focusing upon social and environmental issues. The fact that a definition of SEG was however included within the Code was welcomed and this is consistent with the draft Scottish Planning Policy: Sustainability and Planning.

Recent Events

The topic group on waste held a meeting and site visit to Changeworks Recycling in Edinburgh at 5.30pm on Wednesday 27 April 2016.

The Scottish Law Working Party held an AGM on 14 January 2016.

The topic group on waste met on 15 April 2015 at Davidson Chalmers in Edinburgh. A presentation was given by Bridget Marshall and Andrew Sullivan on the subject of the future of waste policy and regulation.

The Scottish Law Working Party met at UKELA's annual conference in Edinburgh, on Saturday 21st June 2014. The session was held jointly with the Wales and Northern Ireland Working Parties on the topic of Better Regulation Reforms in the Devolved Administrations.

Consultation Responses

Document TitleComments
Developments in Environmental Justice in Scotland: response to Scottish Government consultation, June 2016 
Improving the physical condition of Scotland’s water environment: response to Scottish Government consultation, May 2015 
Fracking: response to European Commission survey on effectiveness of Recommendation 2014/70/EU, 2 April 2015 
Statutory Guidance on SEPA's General Purpose: response to Scottish Government Consultation, August 2014 
Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice: response to Scottish Government consultation, April 2014 
Duty on non-economic regulators to have regard to economic growth: response to BIS consultation, April 2013 
SEPA statutory purpose and funding: response to Scottish Government consultation, January 2013 
Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill: submission to Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee of the Scottish Parliament, December 2012 
Better Regulation Bill response - October 2012 
Water Resources Bill consultation response - August 2012 
Integrated Framework of Environmental Regulation consultation response - August 2012 
Aquaculture & Fisheries Bill response (Water topic group) March 2012 
CAR GBRs response April 2012 (Water topic group) 
Fish Farm Permitted Development Rights June 2012 (Water topic group) 
Hydro Nation response - Water topic group - March 2012 
Non Native species consultation May 2011This response was prepared by the Scots Law Nature Conservation topic group
Marine Licensing for Scotland response - December 2010 
Scottish Climate Change Bill: Scottish Law Working Party response to Scottish Government consultation, April 200823 April 2008


Gordon McCreath

Gordon McCreath

Pinsent Masons

Partner in the Planning and Environment group at Pinsent Masons. Gordon has also previously worked at SEPA and on secondment to the Water Framework Directive team at the Scottish Government.

0141 248 4858
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