Search Legislation

Scotland Act 1998

Paragraph 3: Crown Property

Paragraph 3(1) provides that paragraph 1 does not have the effect of reserving Crown property.  Crown property is:


property belonging to Her Majesty in right of the Crown.  This includes property which the Crown can sell and alienate, such as the foreshore, and rights and obligations over such property which are vested in the Crown as trustee for certain public rights and which cannot be alienated, such as the right to recreational use of the foreshore or the right of public navigation in the waters over the seabed.  This property forms part of the Crown Estate which is managed by the Crown Estate Commissioners; and


property belonging to any person acting on behalf of the Crown or held in trust for Her Majesty for the purposes of any person acting on behalf of the Crown.

This will enable the Scottish Parliament, for example, to apply its planning legislation to Crown property, subject of course to any provisions in other reservations.  It will also enable the Scottish Parliament, when legislating to create a new harbour or port, to extinguish any public rights over the foreshore or seabed which might be affected.

Paragraph 3(2) provides that paragraph 1 does not reserve the position of the Crown as ultimate superior of all feudal land in Scotland or the superiorities owned by the Prince and Steward of Scotland.  This provision is required because it is not clear whether such property can be said to belong to the Crown “in right of the Crown”.  It enables the Scottish Parliament to abolish the feudal system of land tenure, as in the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000.

Paragraph 3(3) qualifies paragraph 3(1) by providing that it does not affect the reservation by paragraph 1 of:


the hereditary revenues of the Crown, other than revenues from bona vacantia, ultimus haeres and treasure trove.  Hereditary revenues are derived from property vested in the Crown in right of the Crown and various other prerogative rights and privileges which are customarily surrendered by the Crown to the nation in exchange for a fixed annual income, known as the Civil List. Bona vacantia, ultimus haeres and treasure trove, are however devolved;


the royal arms and standard.  This is required because otherwise it could be regarded as part of the property belonging to Her Majesty in right of the Crown; and


the compulsory acquisition of property held or used by a Minister of the Crown or government department.

Parliamentary Consideration

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources