In recent years a number of laws specifically dealing with interest on damages and on commercial debts have been passed, but historically the law in relation to the entitlement of interest on claims is rooted in the 19th century, and reflects the social attitudes of that time. This discussion paper examines claims of interest arising from two areas: a claim for payment under a contract; a claim for damages for breach of a contractual or other obligation. Divided into 12 parts, the paper examines these issues, including: present law; the case for reform; the issue of interest on contractual debt and damages, as well as rate of interest and the compounding of interest; the issue of interest in relation to tenders, and the actions of tribunals on such matters; the options of arbitration and adjudication in resolving disputes. The paper finally seeks to create a comprehensive system of entitlement to interest, which does not depend on the legal classification of the claim. The proposals in this paper fall under the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, but if implemented would need to be enacted by the UK Parliament.
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