THE EXTENT TO WHICH PROPERTY RIGHTS CAN BE ABANDONED IN SCOTLAND AND THE SATISFACTORINESS OF THE LAW: A DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT POSITION IN SCOTS LAW AND AN ANALYSIS OF THE ADEQUACY OF THE LAW
by Abdullah Murad*
An unusual rule in Scots property law ensures that the right of ownership in all abandoned property falls to the Crown, the result is that all persons can abandon property except the Crown (barring an exception in the Companies Act 2006). The principle is known as Quod nullius est fit domini regis. G.J. Bell states that this “public expediency” is to reduce fraud, litigation, and adds to public revenue. It is arguable that the rule has reduced fraud, as criminals will not be able to claim property they have stolen to be abandoned. The property is the Crown’s if it was abandoned and the owner’s if it was lost. Most of the items discarded are of no value. However, the government is interested in treasure trove, which includes items of historical and cultural significance. These are of great financial and symbolic interest to the government; it is easy to understand why the rule has not been altered for centuries.
There have been recommendations by the Scottish Law Commission to modify this principle. The recommendation would make most abandoned property ownerless yet allow the Crown to keep possession of future treasure troves. These recommendations have not been adopted by the Scottish parliament at the date that this paper is written (January 2021).
It would follow that this unusual rule may have applied to heritable property and moveable property alike. This notion was rejected by the Court of Session in Scottish Coal. The decision had the effect of confirming that one was disallowed to abandon corporeal heritable property in which they held a registered real right. It is surprising that such an important clarification to the law was made in 2013, 396 years after the establishment of the Register of Sasines.
(2) Aim of the Paper
This paper will aim to answer two questions.
The first question is: to what extent can property rights be abandoned in Scotland? This paper will seek to describe the manner and extent to which property rights can be abandoned. The subject of abandonment in this paper will only concern the casting away of ownership or subordinate rights. The rights that can be cast away will be referred to as property rights, or real rights in property. The right of ownership is difficult to describe. However, Erskine’s definition is suitable for this project, he says “the right of using and disposing of a subject as our own, except in so far as we are restrained by law or paction”. The doctrinal inconsistencies within the law will be examined as well.
The second question is: how satisfactory is the law here? To answer this, the adequacy of the law will be analysed and compared to the positions abroad. An attempt will be made to recommend new or modified laws, which would fit best in Scotland. It is the opinion of the author that the law regarding the abandonment of property in Scotland is inadequate for a jurisdiction with such a rich legal history. The current legal policy does not favour the Crown or the people, and it is unnecessary for the Quod nullius rule to remain in effect (barring protection of treasure trove for the Crown). The final section will explore the importance of the modifications to the law.
[B] A BATTLE OF INTERESTS, AND OF OBLIGATIONS
At the heart of the law governing abandonment of Corporeal moveables is the difficult distinction between lost property and abandoned property. If it were possible to differentiate all lost and abandoned property by labelling them with stickers, then drafting law in this area would be simple. The majority of abandoned property could simply become owned by occupatio, while treasure trove will be kept for the Crown; and all lost property will be handed into the authorities. As this is not the case, the law has to balance the interests of the ‘original’ owners, the finders, and the Crown. The law wants to provide owners who have lost their property to be able to recover it, but it has to balance that with the interests of the finders of abandoned property who should not be made to wait decades to acquire legal ownership. This can only be done through a balancing act, the tools of which are positive prescription, negative prescription, and occupatio.
In relation to the abandonment of property rights in heritable property, it would seem that the concern lies in the fact that unrestricted abandonment would allow owners to escape duties and obligations to others. However, as far as Scottish law is concerned the Scottish Coal case demonstrated that the Court of Session gave multiple reasons to restrict abandonment.  In any reformation of the law, the most important consideration should be balancing the interests of creditors, owners, and the Crown.
[C] CORPOREAL MOVEABLE PROPERTY RIGHTS
(1) The Extent to Which Property Rights can be Abandoned
At the most basic level, an ownership right in a moveable may be abandoned by a coupling of a physical and mental act. The physical act to abandon, and an intention to abandon. It follows that if one is not in possession of a moveable item, then only a mental act is needed to renounce the ownership right. For instance, if x wishes to abandon a guitar he had left at the train station, he would only need to mentally confirm its abandonment. As mentioned earlier, any ownerless property comes to be owned by the Crown. However, some ownerless property does not belong to the Crown (for example wild animals). It is possible to abandon ownership of property and have it become ownerless again, this is only possible in the case of wild animals that have been acquired through occupatio.
It is to be noted that negative prescription may be able to extinguish ownership rights in moveables. This is not confirmed verbatim by the legislation, although there is academic consensus. This area of the law is quite understudied, which is understandable as rarely any valuable items are abandoned.
The abandonment of subordinate rights in moveable property may be done expressly or through implication. In general, a physical act is not required as the owner of the property will usually have possession. Security rights in valuable moveables such as jewellery are often expressly discharged due to their importance. Once subordinate rights are abandoned, they cease to exist, therefore they cannot be passed on to the Crown through the Quod nullius rule.
Negative prescription will extinguish subordinate rights in moveable property. If the right is unenforced or unexercised for twenty years it will be extinguished due to the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 s.8. However, renunciation of a subordinate real right in moveables is instantaneous and one need not rely on negative prescription. These rights are able to be abandoned without any limitations.
(2) The Satisfactoriness of The Law
The law is in an unsatisfactory state for the abandonment of ownership rights of corporeal moveables. There are doctrinal and practical inconsistencies that can be remedied through reform. First, it is peculiar that the principle of occupatio exists in Scots law but can only be used to occupy property that has never been owned (exception for wild animals).  Property that has never been owned cannot have been said to be abandoned in the first place, resulting in the fact that occupatio is impossible in the case of abandoned property. It would be expected that a legal system with a weak concept of occupatio would have robust positive prescription to cure this inconsistency. Scotland is not granted that benefit, as it is unlikely that any statutory scheme would apply to gaining ownership in moveables through positive prescription. There may be a common law rule that grants positive prescription of the ownership of moveables after forty years. This rule is uncertain and too long to be of much use in granting finders the ownership to abandoned property. The Scottish Law Commission recommend that “corporeal moveable property should cease to be subject to negative prescription.”
Furthermore, the law should ensure social reality matches legal reality. The Crown is uninterested in most of the abandoned property and makes no effort to possess their moveable goods. In contrast, abandoned property is possessed and used by finders. This could be seen as a criminal act, however in the case of Kane v Friel prosecutors did not rely on the Quod Nullius rule to prove mens rea in the accused. As long as the Crown’s interest in treasure trove is protected, it is not in the interest of any party that the Quod Nullius rule should remain for the majority of abandoned property. A seemingly minor, however a significant inconsistency is created by the negative prescription of ownership rights in moveables, and the Quod Nullius rule. As mentioned above, the ownership rights in moveables are negatively prescribed in twenty years. As a result, the Crown loses and regains their ownership rights instantaneously. This does not create practical difficulties, but theoretical consistency can aid in understanding and studying the law.
(3) The Reform to be Implemented
To recommend what reform should be implemented, the policy objectives should be stated. In a non-exhaustive list, the primary policy objectives in the drafting of this law should include: procedures within the law to ensure that owners of lost property are able to recover, finders of abandoned property are able to become owners, the Crown to retain their interests in treasure trove, and deterrence of thieves to seize lost property (through rewards for finders, and sanctions for criminals).
Numerous countries have well-developed systems of law to govern the abandonment of corporeal moveables. As is observed in the Scottish Law Commission’s report, countries have implemented laws that regard abandoned property as ownerless, rather than belonging to the Crown. These legal systems include Austria, Spain, the Canadian Province of Quebec, and Germany. Legislation implementing this change would have no negative effects in theoretical or practical terms. The Crown would only have minimal losses (as their rights to treasure trove would be kept intact), while the finders of abandoned property would be able to retain what they have found.
If this change is implemented and abandoned property is available for occupatio, it is possible that thieves could appropriate lost property and present the law as a defense. The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 provides that a finder of lost or abandoned property must report it to the police in a timely fashion. When reform is eventually put in place, there should be a requirement to claim ownership of any abandoned property, it must first be handed in to the proper authorities. Other systems of law also impose a requirement to return property to authorities if found. For instance, the Italian Civil Code requires a finder to return property to its rightful owner, and if unable, to return the property to the mayor. This would not allow thieves an excuse for their actions and ensure the possibility of owners recovering their property.
Once property has been deemed to be ownerless after abandonment, the next step will be to determine in which circumstances the finder can become an owner. In the cases of treasure trove, finders should not become owners. The Crown is in a much better position to take care of and use property of historical and cultural significance. An elegant solution can be found in the laws of the former state of Czechoslovakia (law cited by Carbonnier). The law seeks to categorize abandoned property in between their monetary value; items of low monetary value are returned to the finder, however items of higher value are taken by the state and sold with a reward being paid to the finder. This law keeps intact the treasure trove exception but is able to add to the Crown’s claim of valuable property after the Quod Nullius rule would be abandoned. Further inspiration can be taken from the German Civil code, within this system the finder of the moveable will be able to take ownership rights six months after reporting the find to the competent authorities. The six month period is ample time for the owner to realize their mistake and claim their moveable from the authorities, the rightful owner waiting longer than this period is in essence abandoning their property. In contrast, the French system allows the rightful owner to claim the property within three years after it has been lost. In cases of theft this time period seems short, in cases of lost property it seems lengthy. It seems bizarre to retract possession of a moveable from someone who has possessed it legally for three years. Scotland should adopt the period of time in which the Germans allow the finder to gain ownership rights.
The final piece of reform concerns prescription of moveables. It is not clear if ownership rights can be abandoned through negative prescription due to the lack of case law, although there is an academic consensus. This is not satisfactory; the law should be as concrete as possible. An amendment to the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, or new legislation would be necessary to remedy this issue (Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 2018 does amend the older act, but not for this purpose).
[D] CORPOREAL HERITABLE PROPERTY RIGHTS
(1) The Extent to Which Property Rights can be Abandoned
Ownership rights in heritable property are usually valuable and difficult to attain. Many people will spend their entire lives making payments for a single piece of land. In fact, one piece of land in Scotland is being marketed for £8,000,000, and the average sale price of a piece of property in Scotland is £157,056. When one wishes to depart from the ownership rights of one’s land, the usual method is transfer through sale. However, there are instances in which sale would not be viable. Take for instance, ownership rights of a piece of land which needs extreme repairs to be of any use. These rights will be of low value, or indeed of no value at all. Several situations of this nature exist and make abandonment of the property an attractive route for the owners.
It was previously unclear whether heritable property could be abandoned. This was clarified in the Scottish Coal case. The court decided that there is no legal process by which a person can abandon their ownership rights in heritable property (without transferring to another or ceasing to exist). A person is allowed to physically ignore property and leave it to become derelict but cannot abandon their ownership rights. The dereliction of the property had significant consequences for the parties involved in the Scottish Coal case, as the ones attempting to abandon land were liquidators seeking to salvage assets of an insolvent firm. Due to environmental regulations, the land would have cost £500,000 per month to keep from being a safety hazard. In response to this the liquidators attempted to abandon the land. The court said there were several methods in which ownership rights may be terminated. For instance, the land can be destroyed through coastal erosion; or the owner may cease to exist or be dissolute (if the owner has left no heirs or creditors to take the property, then it would fall to the Crown under the Quod Nullius rule). There were only two further methods in which ownership rights can be abandoned. In the first scenario, the law divests the owner through formal legal processes, this could include compulsory purchases or land attachment. However, this would transfer the property to another person, not leave it truly ownerless. The final method of transferring is through simple voluntary transfer to another person. In effect, if one wishes to truly abandon heritable property (in the sense of leaving it ownerless) the only method in which to do so is to not leave any heirs and cease to exist. Unsurprisingly, this method is not attractive for owners. As the court put it, “Counsel were not able to find any authority which supported the idea that an owner could abandon land in Scotland”.
In order to cast away ownership rights of heritable property to another, writing must be used. The Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 s. 1(2)(b) outlines that a contract or unilateral obligation for the creation, transfer, variation or extinction of a real right in land must be in a written document. There are additional requirements that need to be fulfilled in regard to the execution of the document, they lie outwith the scope of this project.
Subordinate real rights are able to be abandoned without theoretical limitation. One is able to renounce their subordinate rights in heritable property and they will cease to exist. Scots law recognizes a limited amount of real rights. Of those only four are strictly subordinate real rights in heritable property. They consist of: rights in security over heritable property (‘standard securities’), proper liferent, servitudes, and leases. It is possible to abandon these rights through negative prescription. This method of abandonment is most relevant to the right of servitude.
In relation to servitudes, it is possible to abandon them through acquiescence as well. If a benefited proprietor does not interject and lets the burdened proprietor carry out work which would not allow the exercise of the servitude, then the right to oppose the work may be lost. According to the courts, this outcome will be more likely if the works required considerable expenditure.
It is to note, that any abandonment of these rights will require to be in writing (other than negative prescription). This is probably due to the fact that these rights are valuable and written documents can highlight their importance. These rights are able to be abandoned and are only limited by the writing required.
(2) The Satisfactoriness of the Law
The law regarding the ownership rights of heritable property is in an unsatisfactory state in Scotland. It is telling that only in 2013 the law regarding abandonment of ownership rights was clarified. The ambiguity surrounding this distinct, yet inevitable scenario could be due to the recently abolished feudal system, and the rarity of negative value land ownership rights. There is doctrinal inconsistency in the fact that a civilian system of law that follows Roman principles does not allow an owner to abandon ownership rights. Lord Hodge found that the lack of precedent in Scotland allowed an analogy to Roman Dutch law to act as a strong argument for the decision in allowing abandonment of property. Due to the strong similarities in two legal systems, this is a convincing argument. In fact, Professors Reid and Gretton noted that private law rights may be abandoned, and if the ownership of land cannot be abandoned, the system is ‘asymmetrical’. As mentioned above, the Inner House argued that there was no authority which supported the idea that ownership rights in land could be abandoned. This is a strong argument, but it does create a theoretical inconsistency with the general system of property law in Scotland. There are policy considerations to take into account if a legal system was to allow the abandonment of ownership rights. The Scottish coal case demonstrates that if allowed without restriction, then owners could escape payments. This issue is not difficult to solve. Courts could regulate the abandonment of property, and only allow it in cases where there was no abuse.
In addition, those within private practice have observed several problems which arise after the final decision in the case. It is clear that reform could significantly improve the position on a doctrinal and a policy level.
(3) The Reform to be Implemented
The law regarding the abandonment of ownership rights in heritable property was obscure until the Scottish Coal case. The law is not well developed and the majority of it is encapsulated within one case. There is a need for further development.
The current law heavily restricts abandonment, and several US common law jurisdictions restrict abandonment like Scotland (albeit with different underlying principles). The Pocono Springs case is factually similar to the Scottish Coal case mentioned above. In the Pocono Springs case, a married couple attempts to abandon land in order to avoid paying fees associated with ownership. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania found that the property could not be abandoned as the couple held a perfect title, and title could only be relinquished if one ceased to exist or transferred it to another. The result here creates the same effect as the law in Scotland. Furthermore, the court in Cristofani concluded that the abandonment of ownership was not possible and there was no authority that would support a contrary conclusion. This was also noted by the Inner House in the Scottish Coal case. It is safe to say that the law’s effects are quite similar. As noted by one academic, it seems obvious that the American cases should be overruled. The complete ban on abandonment of property serves no policy purposes. There is a fear of owners abandoning negative value property. This can easily be remedied through the courts regulating abandonment, and only allowing abandonment when the property is of positive value. It is clear that in some circumstances one should be able to abandon ownership rights in property.
The civil code in Switzerland allows one to abandon ownership in property. The reform in Scotland should take inspiration from the procedure in Switzerland. The model is straightforward and uncomplicated. The owner must deliver a written document confirming their abandonment to the proper authority, after which their entry in the register will be deleted. This renders the property ownerless. Theoretically the first individual to appropriate the land would become owner. However, there is a caveat in the code which allows for the ‘Cantons’ (subdivisions of a country for political purposes) to claim ownership before private individuals. This system would be appropriate to fit in Scots law, barring the ability for private individuals to be able to claim the land.
Once a system in which land is able to be abandoned is created, the assumption would be that it becomes ownerless. However, for policy purposes the Crown should be granted ownership (similar to the Quod Nullius rule). Jurisdictions such as Argentina, Chile, Quebec, and Germany grant the state ownership of the abandoned property. Scots law should follow a similar path, because if the state is granted ownership this would avoid possible conflict that may ensue to claim the abandoned property. Moreover, the abandoned property will increase the funds of the Crown. The government in Scotland already operates a division to claim ownerless property (Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer). It is not hard to imagine that this organization could easily adapt to adopt heritable properties.
The proposed reforms should be clear, concise, and should balance the interests of the parties involved. An owner of heritable property that is of positive value should be able to unilaterally abandon their land, this is in their own interests and that of the Crown’s. In contrast, the owners of negative value land should not be able to abandon their land in order to escape liabilities, this would be patently unfair to their creditors. Policy considerations should account as higher priority than theoretical and doctoral considerations.
[E] THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ISSUES
The law of abandonment may not be as significant as Land Registration or Rights in Security; however, it does have an important role to play in the framework of society.
(1) For Moveable Property
As mentioned earlier, academics have noted that the abandonment of moveables is not as well analysed as other areas of property law (probably because abandoned moveables are usually of low value). Despite the low average price of abandoned items, the people who appropriate abandoned property are in fact taking property that is the Crown’s. The case of Kane v Friel demonstrated that prosecutors would not rely on this technical doctrine, but the existence of the Quod nullius rule is unnecessary and possibly harmful.
(2) For Heritable Property
Much like the law for moveable property, the law of abandonment for heritable property is given insufficient attention. This is probably because the instances of individuals attempting to abandon ownership rights in heritable property are few and far between. However, the importance of the law is quite clear. Due to the lack of clarity within the law, the taxpayers of Scotland could have paid £73,000,000 of the costs incurred by the Scottish Coal Company.  Laws that govern the abandonment of heritable property must be concrete and clear.
(1) For Moveable Property Rights
In answering the first question regarding the extent of abandonment of property rights, moveable property rights can be abandoned without any significant restrictions. Depending on the circumstances, a physical and mental act are needed, or only a mental act is required. Technically speaking, once ownership in moveables is abandoned, one is unable to gain it back because the moveable now belongs to the Crown. Negative prescription in the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) 1973 act may provide an avenue in which ownership in moveable property can be abandoned.
In answering the second question regarding the satisfactoriness of the law on abandonment, the law is quite unsatisfactory. Indiscriminately granting the Crown all abandoned property through the Quod nullius rule should be abandoned. If treasure trove rights are protected, then it is in public interest to allow occupatio of abandoned moveables. To prevent thieves from using the defense of occupatio for what they believed to be abandoned goods, the duty to contact the proper authorities to gain rightful ownership should be present.
(2) For Heritable Property Rights
In answering the first question, the abandonment of ownership in heritable property is heavily restricted by Scottish law. The only manner in which one is able to abandon property is when they cease to exist (either through dissolution or death). However, subordinate real rights in heritable property are easily abandoned and without limit (including through negative prescription). It is to be noted, that to abandon subordinate real rights, this must be done in writing as set out in Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 s. 1(b).
In answering the second question, the law is unsatisfactory in this regard as well. At the fundamental level, there seems to be no argument against allowing property owners to abandon their land if it does not have adverse effect on others. A system in which abandoned land is vested within the Crown is beneficial to all parties involved.
(3) The Future
The law of Scotland is constantly changing and improving. There have been significant developments within property law in recent years (Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003). The Scottish Law Commission has a report that recommends reform within the abandonment of Corporeal Moveables. The SLC recommendations on abandonment of moveable property should be adopted completely, with the addition of the German law which prescribes that a finder of property become owner in six months. Furthermore, Scotland should adopt a system similar to Switzerland in the law of abandonment of heritable property. As part of the reform, ownership rights in land which are of positive value should be able to be unilaterally abandoned. There is hope for reform in the law of abandonment within Scotland.
 Companies Act 2006 s. 1013.
 Erskine Inst II, 1, 12; Bankton Inst I, 3, 16.
 Bell, Prin §1291.
 Scottish Law Commission, Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property (Scot Law Com No 228, 2012) para 5.6.
 Scottish Environmental Protection Agency v Joint Liquidators of the Scottish Coal Company Ltd 2013 CSIH 108 .
 Registration Act 1617.
 Erskine Inst II, 1, 1.
 Scottish Coal CSIH.
 Kenneth Reid, The Law of Property in Scotland (Law Soc. of Scotland 1996) para 4; Lord Advocate v University of Aberdeen and Budge 1963 SC 533; Mackenzie v MacLean 1981 SLT (Sh Ct) 40.
 Erskine Inst II, 1, 10.
 Reid, Property para 675; David Johnston, Prescription and Limitation (1st edn, W. Green, 1999) paras 7.08, 7.14; David C Miller, David Irvine, Corporeal Moveables in Scots Law (2nd edn, W. Green 2005) para 7.05.
 Scottish Law Commission, Discussion Paper on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property (Discussion Paper No 144) para 9.1.
 Reid, Property para 9.
 Bell Prin §1287.
 Reid, Property para 565.
 Aberscherder Parishioners v Parish of Gemrie 1633 Mor 10972; Ramsay v Wilson 1666 Mor 9113.
 Scottish Law Commission, Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property para 3.41.
 1997 JC 69.
 Scottish Law Commission, Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property para 5.5.
 Austrian Civil Code article 349; Spanish Civil Code article 610; Quebec Civil Code article 935; German Civil Code §959.
 Scottish Law Commission, Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property para 5.6.
 Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 s. 67(1).
 Italian Civil Code article 927.
 Jean Carbonnier, Droit Civil, vol 3 Code (1950) article 119 285ff.
 German Civil Code §973.
 French Civil Code article 2279.
 ‘Seton Castle’ <https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/73580038#/> accessed 5th January 2021.
 ‘UK House Price Index Scotland: June 2020’ <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-house-price-index-scotland-june-2020/uk-house-price-index-scotland-june-2020>.
 Reid, Property para 9.
 Scottish Coal CSIH para 103.
 Ibid para 1.
 Scottish Environment Protection Agency v Joint Liquidators of the Scottish Coal Company Ltd 2013 CSOH 124, para 22.
 Reid, Property para 4.
 The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 s. 8.
 Reid Elspeth, Blackie John, Personal Bar (W. Green 2013).
 Davidson v Thomson (1880) 17 R 287, 290.
 The Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 s. 1(2)(b).
 Malcom Combe, ‘Abandonment of Land and the Scottish Coal Case: was it Unprecedented?’ (2018) Edinburgh Law Review 301.
 Scottish Coal CSOH para 22.
Kenneth Reid, George Gretton, Conveyancing (4th edn, W. Green, 2013).
 Scottish Coal decision: Inner House finds that Scottish liquidators do not have a power to abandon onerous property’ <https://shepwedd.com/knowledge/scottish-coal-decision-inner-house-finds-scottish-liquidators-do-not-have-power-abandon> accessed 5th January 2021.
 For Maryland: Cristofani v. Bd. Of Educ. 632 A.2d 447, 450 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1993); For Pennsylvania: Pocono Springs Civic Ass’n v. MacKenzie 667 A.2d 233 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1995); For Mississippi: Waldrop v. Whittington 57 So.2d 298, 300 (Miss. 1952).
 667 A.2d 233 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1995).
 632 A.2d 447, 450 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1993) para 103.
 Lior Strahilevitz, ‘The right to Abandon’ (2010) 158 U. Pa. L. Rev. 355, 418.
 Swiss Civil Code article 666, 964.
 Argentinean Civil Code article 2376; Chilean Civil Code article 590; German Civil Code §928; Quebec Civil Code article 936.
 Eduardo Peñalver, ‘The Illusory Right to Abandon’ (2010) Cornell Law Faculty Publications 209 192.
 ‘Liquidators escape £73m clean-up bill for Scottish Coal’ (BBC News, 17 July 2013) < https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23348222> accessed 8th January 2021 ;Scottish Environment Protection Agency v Joint Liquidators of the Scottish Coal Company Ltd 2013 CSOH 124 para 22.
 Scottish Law Commission, Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property.