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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Trusts Law (LAWS10241)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is an advanced course on the Scots law of trusts which builds on Succession and Trust Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08130).

The course considers in depth the doctrinal elements of the Scots law of trust, assessed in the light of the policy debates underpinning the current law and the programme of trust law reform in Scotland. It may refer for comparison to the trust laws of related jurisdictions where these throw light on Scots law and current use of trusts in practice.
Course description The course centres on the core elements of law of trusts in Scotland. An indicative list of seminar topics is:
1. Conceptual theory of the Scottish trust
2. Purpose trusts in Scots Law
3. Public and charitable Trusts
4. Investment and delegation
5. Breach of trustee duties
6. Asset protection and trusts
7. Creditors' claims
8. Information rights
9. Retention of control by a truster
10. The reality of trusts
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Succession and Trust Law (LAWS08130) AND Scottish Legal System (LAWS08128)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An advanced knowledge of the conceptual basis of trust law in Scotland and the rules governing the conduct of trusts, including trustee decision making; trust administration; the rights and interests of beneficiaries under trusts; and the rights of third parties to the trust relationship.
  2. Some comparative understanding of these matters, seen from the perspectives of related trust laws in selected Commonwealth jurisdictions, particularly England.
Reading List

GL Gretton and AJM Steven, Property, Trusts and Succession (4th edn, 2021).

Specialist works:

There are few fully up to date specialist books on trust law in Scotland but they include:

WA Wilson and AGM Duncan, Trusts, Trustees and Executors (2nd edn, 1995).
Kessler and W Grant, Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts in Scotland (2nd edn, 2017) (a work for practitioners)

Policy and reform:

The course will also make liberal use of the Scottish Law Commission publications surrounding their project on the reform of trust law, which culminated with its Report on Trust Law (Scot Law Com No 239, 2014)
It is available at
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Experience of independent research into a range of source materials;
The opportunity to reflect upon matters of contested public policy and applicable values as students form their own arguments.
Experience of identifying and synthesising key points from complex information.
Experience of developing oral communication of complex ideas and arguments;
Experience of communicating complex ideas and arguments in writing.
Experience of prioritising source materials and use of time;
Experience of planning a research strategy and effectively using resources to prepare contributions to class and assessments;
Experiences of taking constructive feedback and criticism.
Experience of standard academic skills such as word processing, accessing electronic readings, making electronic searches, and using online platforms.
Course organiserDr Daniel Carr
Course secretaryMrs Suzanne Strath
Tel: (0131 6)517000
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