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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Safety Regulations in Scotland – Part 50

June 15, 2020 12:59 pm

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 49, LWF considered the duties of employees under Scottish legislation and enforcement. In part 50, we will discuss appeals under Scottish legislation and look at how disputes are determined.

The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 make provision for an appeal to the court to be lodged by any person who has received an alterations notice, enforcement notice or prohibition notice. The same provisions are made in England and Wales in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The Sheriff in Scotland has the same level of authority as magistrates in England and Wales and any appeal against the Sheriff’s decision would be heard by either the Sheriff Principal or the Court of Session.

In Scotland, as in England and Wales, there is a method of dispute determination that can be used without appealing to the court. It is provided with the intention that this route should be followed prior to official enforcement action.

While the process is provided for both in Scottish legislation and in England and Wales, the details differ. Under the Fire Safety Order, it applies only where the responsible person (or other) has failed to comply with any provision of the Order. The determination relates only to disputes regarding the measures necessary for compliance.

In Scottish law, Section 67 of the Fire (Scotland) Act permits the determination route to be followed where an enforcing authority considers that a person has failed to comply with any of the Chapter 1 duties, but the person and authority are not able to agree on the action necessary to rectify. This leaves the non-judicial determination route open to situations where a dutyholder disagrees that there is non-compliance with the legislation at all.

In Scotland, where HM Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities is not the enforcing authority, then the dispute is referred there for determination. Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is the enforcing authority, it is referred to the Scottish Ministers.

It should be noted that the dispute determination route can only be used when the dutyholder and enforcing authority both agree to the process.

In part 51, LWF will look at the guidance available for the Scottish legislation. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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