“Crofting: A Clean Slate”


Sir Crispin Agnew QC has had an article “Crofting: A Clean Slate” published in the peer reviewed Journal Northern Scotland 6, 2015 pages 84 to 97 published by Edinburgh University Press. The Article examines the historical background whereby certain areas of land became subject to crofting tenure and then, particularly between the 1st and 2nd World Wars ceased to be under the Acts. This has led to a random patchwork of land subject to the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 (as amended).

The article then examines the lack of a clear policy running through the 1993 Act arising from the many amendments made to crofting law to reflect different priorities at different times. This makes for difficulties in implementation and interpretation.

Crispin concludes by suggesting that the Crofting Act should be swept away and a new act introduced with a consistent policy that applies to all holding, whatever their origin in the area that the government considers should be subject to crofting regulation. Alternatively, if that goes too far, that the Crofting Act should be simplified.