A consultation has recently been launched by the UK Government on tightening the law on the criminal liability of partnerships. The consultation is also seeking views on reforming the law on unincorporated associations.
The need for reform to the Scots law on criminal liability of partnerships was highlighted after 14 elderly residents lost their lives in the Rosepark nursing home fire in Lanarkshire in 2004. The case against the care home operators failed in the courts because of a loophole which prevented the prosecution of a partnership once it had been dissolved.
The proposed change, which is based on the work of the Scottish Law Commission, would prevent all Scottish partnerships from escaping prosecution for potentially serious offences by dissolving, and ensure they could be held to account if they commit crimes.