'BAD LAW' passed by the Scottish Executive back in 2003 continues to have repercussions for tenant farming families caught in the legal loop created when the notorious Salvesen/Riddell court ruling led to its reversal.
According to Hendersons, the Kinross law firm now representing eight tenant farmers whose security of tenure has been lost in the guddle arising from the flawed legislation and its collapse in court, Scottish Government assurances that it would look after them have come to nothing, and they now have no choice but to take the matter to court themselves.
"The government were advised by the Rural Affairs Committee that they should make every effort to ensure that the affected tenants did not suffer further by having to face lengthy and very costly court proceedings in seeking compensation for the impact the Remedial Order would have on their secure tenancies," said Hendersons this week.
"Unfortunately, having paid lip service to the advice, the Scottish Government has made no effort to lessen the stress and financial burden and these seven farmers and their families now find themselves in court as of November 1, 2016.
"One farmer has already been put out of his farm in January of this year, two more families will find themselves in the same position as of the end of November with the remainder facing eviction in May and November of next year."
The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association lent its support to Hendersons' efforts on behalf of the eight tenants, and added that it was "bitterly disappointed" that they had been forced to take ScotGov to court.
STFA director Angus McCall said: “The last four and a half years have been a misery for these tenant farmers since Lord Gill condemned the law that gave them security of tenure ten years previously as incompetent and contravening the property rights of landlords. The tenants now feel they have been hung out to dry by the government and its lawyers. 
“None of the assurances given to them by ministers or parliament when the Remedial Order was passed in 2014 has been met," said Mr McCall. "The mediation process which was supposed to take place never got off the ground, government has refused to enter into negotiation with the tenants regarding any form of compensation and now they find themselves faced with a lengthy, expensive and stressful legal battle with the government, an outcome that the RACCE committee precisely warned against.
“There is no doubt, that if the mediation process had taken place as originally planned and in the spirit intended, some of these tenants would not now be facing eviction and the others would have come to a mutually agreeable end of tenancy settlement instead of four years of uncertainty and emotional turmoil. This sorry saga has exemplified the harsh and uncaring side of government where common decency and a sense of fair play is being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. 
"It is not too late for the government to enter into a dialogue with the tenants and prevent a lengthy and expensive court battle. STFA would reiterate the plea made a year ago for the rulers of this country to accept moral responsibility for the damage done though the actions of a previous government to these families and move without further delay to find a way towards an equitable settlement rather than forcing them into a long drawn out, expensive and life sapping legal battle.”