Crofting, nominee sales and the separation of powers

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Crofting is a system of landholding peculiar to parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Its legal framework goes back some one hundred years, when the UK Parliament, in the face of unrest in the Gaeldom, fortified by statute the rather precarious rights of the non-landowner inhabitants of Scotland’s fringe land. “Crofters”, being those people who worked certain areas of land at the time the Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886 was passed, were given a number of key protections.1 These included the right to a fair rent, the right to be compensated for any permanent improvements made to land and, perhaps most importantly, a right to security of tenure, which is best viewed as a safeguard against eviction unless a proper process is followed.2 The importance of these reforms in keeping the fabric of this part of Scotland’s society together cannot be overstated. The people who succeeded the original crofters continue to enjoy such protections,3 together with further innovations on the 1886 legislation to allow for matters like common grazings4 and, notably for the purposes of this article, a “right to buy”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-463
Number of pages6
JournalEdinburgh Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010


  • crofting
  • crofters holdings (Scotland) act
  • right to buy
  • land law
  • tenant rights
  • crofters rights


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