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Professor Andrew R C Simpson

Professor of Scottish Legal History

Director of Undergraduate Studies

LLB (Hons) LLM (Aberd) PhD (Cantab)

Tel: 0131 650 2329


View my full research profile

Andrew Simpson holds the Chair of Scottish Legal History at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with an LLB and an LLM (by Research), he went on to receive his PhD degree from the University of Cambridge.

For ten years he was an academic member of staff at the School of Law in the University of Aberdeen, where he taught a wide range of subjects, including Foundations of Private law, Property law, Scottish Legal History, Comparative law, Succession and Trusts and Corporeal Moveable Property (Honours). He has also taught annually as a visting lecturer in Comparative law at the University of Bergen in Norway since 2015.

His research interests focus primarily on Scottish legal history and Property law, including in particular the law governing corporeal moveables. In terms of his legal historical work, much of his current research explores clarifying how sixteenth-century Scottish jurists articulated the authority of the law, and how they summarised and reorganised materials found in the volumnious texts of the law to facilitate the invention or discovery of arguments that could be used in legal practice. He is also interested in exploring how Scottish jurists engaged with different strands of contemporary continental European legal thought to articulate their views on these matters. His other legal historical work has focused on the operation of the medieval Scottish common law in the burghs, and also on the doctrinal development of specific areas of the law – notably the law governing extinctive and acquistive prescription.

Apart from the projects mentioned, he is currently working towards comparative research on the extent to which it is possible to speak of a distinctive and coherent Scottish legal method, in the same way that it is possible to speak of a German or Norwegian legal method. In terms of work on doctrinal Private law, he is also researching aspects of the law governing transfer of ownership of corporeal moveable property.