20 The Law in Scotland

Rosalind McInnes

20.1 Introduction

There is much about the law of Scotland that is comfortingly familiar to media organizations and media lawyers in England. The Defamation Acts of 1952 and 1996, the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988, the Data Protection Act 1998, the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the Human Rights Act 1998 are all United Kingdom-wide statutes. It has also been said that the law of confidence is the same in both countries (Osborne v BBC (1999)).

However, differences in history, procedure and culture have resulted in a need for those in England to exercise caution when considering the law of Scotland. The Scottish ‘civil law’ legal system is based on Roman law, and is fundamentally different from ...

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