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Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 12 – Right of burial

32.This section makes provision for the right of burial. A right of burial in relation to a particular lair is defined as the right to be buried in that lair (subsection (2)(a)) and the right to determine whose remains may be buried in the lair (subsection (2)(c)). Subsection (2)(b) specifies that where human remains are to be buried on or above ground, the right extends to placing a tomb on the lair and the right to erect a structure associated with the tomb on the lair.

33.A right of burial covers both traditional burial in a lair as well as burial on or above ground in resting places such as tombs and mausoleums. Ordinarily, a person in whom a right of burial in a lair is vested will have the right to be buried in that lair. The right to determine whose remains may be buried in the lair is subject to section 37(5), which means that anyone in whom a right of burial in a lair that has been restored to use in line with section 37 is vested must allow the remains of those people originally buried in the lair to be reburied there.

34.A burial authority, may grant a right of burial on the application of any person.

35.Subsection (3) provides that a right of burial is exercisable only by the person in whom the right is vested.

36.Subsection (4) sets out that a right of burial under subsection (1) is to be exercised subject to any terms and conditions the burial authority may determine.

37.Subsection (5) provides that a right of burial is subject to, and must be exercised in accordance with, any regulations under Part 1 of the Act.

38.Subsection (6) allows a burial authority to refuse an application under subsection (1) where it considers it reasonable to do so, although this subsection is subject to the requirements of section 13.

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Text created by the Scottish Government 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 Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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