Weekend Books – A Practical Guide to Crofting Law
Crofting law can sometimes seem like an existential exercise, wondering how to make sense of a confusing set of rules in an uncertain world. It is not possible to discuss crofting without reference to the law, and as this book by Brian Inkster shows, there is a considerable body of legislation which underpins the subject.
Because it is a practical guide, the book does not seek to analyse this complex legislative regime. What it offers is an introduction to crofting law for anyone who is interested in the subject, does not already have a strong grasp of the subject, and wants to understand the layout of the ground in front of them.
Each chapter concerns a key topic necessary to understanding crofting law. The purpose of each chapter is to explain that topic by a discussion of the main points a person with little or no knowledge of the subject needs to have in order to understand it. There are frequent references to other sources of useful information, which is a very useful aspect of the book.
Crofts can be in the form of tenanted land, owner-occupied land, or deemed crofts. The text points out that identifying tenanted land as a croft can be complex, but highlights the practical significance of the effect of a croft having been entered onto the Register of Crofts. It also provides a helpful definition of what constitutes an owner-occupied croft. Other topics covered by the book include buying a croft (whether it is tenanted or owner-occupied), removing croft land from crofting regulation, sub-leasing a croft, and transferring the owner or tenant’s interest in a croft following the death of a crofter.
This book is a useful introduction to a notoriously difficult and specialised area of law. It is written in a clear and understandable style. The author is a very well-known lawyer who has dedicated many years of practice to the subject. He has brought that experience to this book, distilling down the many intricacies of the law to its “real world” essentials. For those wanting to understand how crofting works, this book provides them with what they need to know.
Robert Sutherland, Advocate, MCIArb
A Practical Guide to Crofting Law by Brian Inkster. Published by Law Brief Publishing (£29.99 Paperback) 76 pp.