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Legal History

Legal history research and teaching at Edinburgh Law School focuses on Roman Law in the Ancient World and the Middle Ages, the History of Scots Law, European Legal History and the Legal History of Louisiana, Natural Law and Canon Law, and Slavery.

Academic books

This activity reflects a long tradition in the School as the Chair of Civil Law, founded 1710, was the first active law chair in the University. These fields are covered in a number of different courses, and there is a lively group of postgraduate students. Teaching and research are generally pursued in an interdisciplinary and comparative fashion, drawing on the excellent resources available in Edinburgh, to support historical and comparative research within the civilian tradition.

John W. Cairns, Professor of Civil Law

Paul J. du Plessis, Professor of Roman Law

Hector L. MacQueen, Professor of Private Law

Guido Rossi, Lecturer in European Legal History

Journal articles

Introductory essay to the translation of the discurso preliminar of Pérez y López’s Teatro.
Cairns, John W. In: Journal of Civil Law Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, 03.04.2019. View article

Book chapters

Property and possession.
Du Plessis, Paul. A Cultural History of Law. ed.
Julen Etxabe. Vol. 1 1. ed. London : Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. p. 109 - 124. View chapter

The legacy of Smith's jurisprudence in late eighteenth-century Edinburgh.
Cairns, John W.
Philosophy, Rights and Natural Law: Essays in honour of Knud Haakonssen. ed.
Ian Hunter; Richard Whatmore. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2019. p. 278-305. View chapter

Centre for Legal History
The Centre for Legal History provides a lively social and scholarly focus for the active research community – faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and postgraduate students - in legal history, including Civil (Roman) law, in the School of Law.
Visit the Centre for Legal History website

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