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Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003

Section 75:  Jurisdiction of the Land Court

252.This section abolishes the present compulsory arbitration jurisdiction over questions between the landlord and tenant of an agricultural holding. A new section 60 of the 1991 Act is substituted to confer jurisdiction on the Land Court to determine such matters as are described in new section 60(2) and (3). This means that the Land Court will become the primary forum for the resolution of agricultural holdings disputes.

253.A wide jurisdiction is conferred on the Court, including any question as to whether a landlord and tenant relationship exists or whether the subject of that relationship is an agricultural holding – see section 60(2)(a) of the 1991 Act. In addition, an application can be made to the Land Court for its opinion on questions of law or fact relating to any type of agricultural tenancy or agriculture- see section 60(2)(d). Certain specific exceptions to the Land Court’s jurisdiction are listed in section 60(4). Jurisdiction over such matters remains with the sheriff court and the Court of Session.

254.Section 60(6) sets out who can apply to the Land Court for such a determination. In contrast to the present position under the 1991 Act, either party to a tenancy of an agricultural holding may refer a relevant matter to the Land Court for determination without the consent of the other party. Subsections (7) and (8) clarify the definition of “landlord” and “tenant” in matters of jurisdiction. The existing specific jurisdictions of the Land Court are preserved by virtue of section 60(9).

255.Section 60 of the 1991 Act requires to be read in conjunction with the parties' rights to refer matters to arbitration or any other means of determination they elect under new section 61(1) of the 1991 Act, substituted by section 76 of the 2003 Act .

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