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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

Peter Candy, Early-career fellow in Legal History

Paul J. du Plessis, Professor of Roman Law

Lorren EldridgeEarly Career Fellow in Legal History

Hector L. MacQueen, Emeritus Professor of Private Law

Guido Rossi, Reader in European Legal History

Andrew Simpson, Professor of Scottish Legal History

Journal articles

Comparative legal history - A critique
Du Plessis, P.J. The Journal of Comparative Law. 2021 View article

'Judging beyond the sandal’: Law and rhetoric in D. 19,2,31 (Alf. 5 dig. a Paulo epit.)
Candy, P., In: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Romanistische Abteilung, Vol. 138, No. 1, 25.06.2021, p. 310-337. View article

Trouble at the baths
Du Plessis, P.J.  Revista Internacional de Derecho Romano. 2021. View article

Subjects, citizens, and persons: Natural law and the drafting of the digest of the civil law of the territory of Orleans.
Cairns, J.W. In: Loyola Law Review, Vol. 66, No. 2, 27.02.2020. View article

Book chapters

Montesquieu à Édimbourg.
L'histoire de l'édition juridique (XVIe-XXIe): Un état des lieux. ed. / Robert Carvais; Jean-Louis Halpérin. Paris : Librairie générale de droit et de jurisprudence, 2021. p. 381-394 (Contextes Culture du droit). View chapter

La procédure civile en Grand-Bretagne au dix-neuvième siècle.
Cairns, J.W. Itinéraires de l'histoire de la procédure civile : 2. Regards étrangers. ed.
Loïc Cadiet; Serge Dauchy; Jean-Louis Halpérin. Vol. 113 Paris : IRJS éditions, 2020. p. 225-240 (Bibliothèque de l'IRJS - André Tunc). View chapter

'Provincial law' in Britannia. 
Du Plessis, P.J. Law in the Roman Provinces. ed. / Kimberley Czajkowski; Benedikt Eckhardt; Meret Strothmann. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2020. p. 437 - 461 (Oxford Studies in Roman Society and Law). View Chapter

Trading along Hadrian's Wall
Du Plessis, P.J. Colonial Adventures: Commercial Law and Practice in the Making. ed. / Serge Dauchy. Brill, 2020. p. 21 - 32. (in press)

Edited Collections

Roman Law and Maritime Commerce
Candy, P. & Mataix Ferrándiz, E.  Edinburgh University Press (2022) View collection

Roman Law Before the Twelve Tables : An Interdisciplinary Approach. 
Bell, Sinclair W (Editor); Du Plessis, Paul (Editor). Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2020. 216 p. View collection

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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