Are changes to the law of Cohabitation and Surrogacy (finally) coming?

7th March 2022

The Scottish Law Commission have published their annual report today and given some detail about the timeline for the proposals for law reform in the areas of both cohabitation and surrogacy. 

The "Aspects of Family Law project", which includes a review of the law relating to cohabitants (specifically the definition of “cohabitant” and financial
provision on cessation of cohabitation otherwise than on death) started a few years ago, and included a consultation in 2020. The annual report notes that the Law Commission hope to publish "recommendations for reform" to the Scottish Ministers and a draft Bill which would implement these changes in late spring/early summer 2022.

The work on Surrogacy is a joint project with the Law Commission of England and Wales. A joint consultation paper was published in 2019 and there were 680 responses, including 30 from respondents in Scotland. The annual report notes that they are working towards preparing a joint report and a draft Bill for autumn 2022.

If you are interested in knowing more on either of these topics, you can contact Robert Gilmour who leads our Surrogacy and Assisted Reproduction team. Robert has assisted with the work done by the Scottish Law Commission and was the only Scottish practitioner to be invited to speak at the launch of the Report of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group on Surrogacy in 2021, having been invited to give evidence to them during the creation of their report. The area of cohabitation law is another of Robert's particular areas of expertise, having acted for the successful applicant in the ground breaking, and widely reported, Supreme Court case of Gow v Grant- still the only Scottish case on cohabitation to have reached the Supreme Court.

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