Book review : Scottish Land Law William M. Gordon and Scott Wortley, 3rd Edition, Volume 2, W. Green, 2020

Combe, Malcolm (2021) Book review : Scottish Land Law William M. Gordon and Scott Wortley, 3rd Edition, Volume 2, W. Green, 2020. [Review]

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In many ways, this is a strange book review. This is partly because of the reviewer/reviewee relationship, and partly because of the text under review. Taking the latter point first, it seems strange to focus on only one Volume of the book under review. Admittedly, there are over 400 pages of substantive coverage of key aspects of immoveable property law in Volume 2 of Scottish Land Law, covering: rights in security; title conditions; public access to land; nuisance and other land-related delicts; and settings where private property meets the common good (social control of land use, compulsory acquisition of land, and redistribution of land). These are all important topics. However, there is no denying that the complete third edition of Scottish Land Law comprises unorthodox constituent parts: Volume 1 published in 2009, augmented by a supplement published in 2011;1 then Volume 2 published in 2020. Those reading Volume 1 are accordingly in a time warp when dealing with issues such as private residential leasing, nature conservation or water rights. More strikingly, Volume 1 pre-dates the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012, whereas Volume 2 caters for it (albeit there is a lingering reference to the possibility of newly registering something in the closed Register of Sasines).2 Separately, it is perhaps regrettable that there is no single composite index for the two Volumes and the supplement. So be it: we are where we are, and we are undoubtedly in a better position to have Volume 2 of this significant edition of a Scottish Universities Law Institute book than not.