Explanatory Notes - Scottish Parliament

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These documents relate to the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill (SP Bill 80) as introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 8 October 2015



CONTENTS As required under Rule 9.3 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders, the following documents are published to accompany the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 8 October 2015: 

Explanatory Notes;

a Financial Memorandum;

a Scottish Government statement on legislative competence; and

the Presiding Officer’s statement on legislative competence.

A Policy Memorandum is published separately as SP Bill 80–PM.

SP Bill 80–EN


Session 4 (2015)

These documents relate to the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill (SP Bill 80) as introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 8 October 2015

EXPLANATORY NOTES INTRODUCTION 1. These Explanatory Notes have been prepared by the Scottish Government in order to assist the reader of the Bill and to help inform debate on it. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by the Parliament. 2. The Notes should be read in conjunction with the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Bill. So where a section or schedule, or a part of a section or schedule, does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given. THE BILL Summary and background 3. The purpose of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill (“the Bill”) is to provide a legislative framework for burial and cremation. The Bill will provide for the repeal of all existing burial and cremation legislation. 4. Many of the Bill‟s provisions are rooted in recommendations made by various review groups, particularly the Infant Cremation Commission1 and the Burial and Cremation Review Group.2 5.

1 2

The Bill is in 6 Parts and contains 2 schedules: 

Part 1 covers burial, including burial grounds, burials in burial grounds, private burials, exhumations, the restoration to use of burial lairs and fees for interment;

Part 2 covers cremation;

Part 3 covers arrangements on death, including arrangements on the death of adults and children and losses during pregnancy, and local authority functions in relation to the disposal of remains in certain circumstances;

Part 4 covers inspections;

Part 5 covers miscellaneous provisions, including powers for the Scottish Ministers to make a scheme for the licensing of funeral directors‟ premises, to issue codes of practice and powers to modify enactments;

Part 6 covers general provisions, which are largely technical in nature (eg, general provisions relating to regulations, ancillary provision, Crown application);

Schedule 1 lists minor and consequential amendments;

Schedule 2 lists repeals.

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/06/8342/0 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2008/03/25113621/0


These documents relate to the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill (SP Bill 80) as introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 8 October 2015

COMMENTARY ON SECTIONS Part 1 – Burial Burial grounds Section 1 – Meaning of “burial ground” 6. Section 1 defines the meaning of “burial ground” for the purposes of the Act. A burial ground is defined as land that is used or intended to be used primarily for the burial of the dead and for which a fee is charged. The definition also includes land that was used primarily for this purpose and for which a fee was charged, but is no longer used for burial; in other words, a closed burial ground. This ensures that burial grounds that are no longer in operation are st