Consultation on moveable property rights

2 Jul 2015 01:17 PM

Clarifying law on when possession becomes ownership

Views are being sought on proposals to clarify the law on when possession of an object becomes ownership.

A 12-week consultation has been launched on a Bill proposed by the Scottish Law Commission, on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property.

The proposed Bill has two main provisions:

Announcing the consultation, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse, said:

“While many day-to-day objects have little value, some objects like paintings, works of art, antiques and jewellery could have considerable value. These proposals would see the law clarified in some situations where ownership is complex and they will protect people who have acted in good faith.

“These proposed changes could also have a particular beneficial impact on bodies like museums and art galleries.

“A key aim of the Bill is to help clarify ownership in cases such as, for example, where the person possessing the object bought it in good faith from a person who did not actually own it.”

Other provisions in the Bill are:

The consultation will run for a period of 12 weeks which started yesterday (1 July 2015). A copy of the consultation paper can be found here:

Notes To Editors

The Commission’s report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property is available at