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Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 17 – Register of rights of burial

48.This section requires a burial authority to prepare and maintain a register of rights of burial for each burial ground for which it is the burial authority. Subsection (2) sets out the information that the register must contain, which should (where possible) include details of the current right-holder (whether that is the person who made the application originally or a person to whom that right has passed). Subsection (3) permits the burial authority to take appropriate steps to ascertain that the information in the register is current and accurate and to obtain information to allow the register to be adjusted so that it is current and accurate. This register is not a public document.

49.This should enable the information in the register to be as up-to-date as possible, which should reduce the likelihood that burial authorities will lose contact with people who own the right of burials in lairs. This will act as an additional safeguard to prevent rights expiring where the owner would otherwise have wanted to extend the right. The intention is that guidance on the sale of burial lairs will be issued by the Scottish Ministers; this will set out further advice on how burial authorities can keep information in this register current.

50.Subsection (5) provides that the register is required to be kept indefinitely. Subsection (6) provides that the burial authority may provide a certified copy extract from the register, and any such copy will be considered to be sufficient for the purpose of evidence in any court proceedings in respect of the information contained in the extract.

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