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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20813: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support is available for people affected by servitude law, and how it enforces legal rights relating to maintenance without the complainant incurring significant legal costs.

Answered by: Ash Denham 16 January 2019

A dispute arising from servitude law (access rights) is a civil matter.

The Scottish Government encourages individuals to find a resolution to a problem out with a court, where possible such as the use of a mediation service which can help to bring the parties in a dispute together and arrive at a satisfactory conclusion for both parties. Any costs associated with the use of this service would normally be considerably less than raising a court action.

If mediation is not an option or fails to resolve the issue then taking the matter to court is the only recourse. General support and advice services such as Citizens Advice or Shelter Scotland may be able to give some initial advice on the specific circumstances.

In addition, the Scottish Legal Aid Board provide Advice and Assistance (A&A). This is available subject to a financial eligibility test, on any matter of Scots law for various forms of legal advice and assistance short of representation in court. It can include advice on whether there is a legal case to take forward, advice on options to proceed, negotiating a settlement, or writing letters on the applicant’s behalf.

If court action is raised then the circumstances of the dispute and the individual may qualify for legal aid assistance. Further information on legal aid eligibility can be found at: https://www.slab.org.uk/Online_calculators.html .