(129)  Scottish Law Commission at work

The Scottish Law Commission produced two important discussion papers in July 2001.  One (Disc Paper No 115) on the age of criminal responsibility proposes abolition of the rule that a child below the age of 8 has no criminal capacity alongside retention of the exceptional procedure of prosecution of children under 16 with the existing statutory and other protections.  The other (Disc Paper No 114) proposes abolition of the rule in the notorious case of Sharp v Thomson 1997 SC (HL) 66 (for which see K G C Reid, (1997) 1 Edin LR 464).  This will be achieved by improving the flow of information about insolvency processes to the various registers while also ensuring that an acquirer who registers promptly is unaffected by the insolvency of the seller.  The reform is not confined to land (the subject-matter in Sharp) but extends to other registered property such as company shares and certain types of intellectual property as well as to rights other than ownership, such as security rights, leases and other rights constituted by registration.  The discussion papers can be viewed at the Commission website, http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk.  For recent developments in the courts after Sharp, see G L Gretton, (2001) 5 Edin LR 73.