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A Mixed Legal System in Transition

T. B. Smith and the Progress of Scots Law

Edited by Elspeth Reid, David Carey Miller


This collection of essays considers the work of Professor Sir Thomas Smith QC (1915–1988) and, through that work, the development of Scots law as a mixed legal system. Smith was a leading figure in the revival of Scots law which began in the 1950s. Well-known internationally as a comparatist, he was the pioneer of the idea of a grouping of mixed legal systems. Yet in Scotland he was a controversial figure, whose advocacy of the civil law tradition was challenged and whose legacy is disputed. This volume is the first sustained attempt to assess Smith's career, and his writing, methodology, ideology and influence. The contributors approach their subject from different angles and in different ways. Two contributors are from other mixed legal systems (South Africa and Louisiana).


List of Contributors
List of Abbreviations
1 While One Hundred Remain: T B Smith and the Progress of Scots Law
Kenneth G C Reid
2 The Rational and the National: Thomas Brown Smith
George L Gretton
3 Two Toms and an Ideology for Scots Law: T B Smith and Lord Cooper of Culross
Hector L MacQueen
4 T B Smith as a Legal Historian
John Blackie
5 Borrowing from English Equity and Minority Shareholders' Actions
Niall R Whitty
6 "Calculated to our Meridian"? The Ius Commune, Lex Mercatoria and Scots Commercial Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
A D M Forte
7 Glory with Gloag or the Stake with Stair? T B Smith and the Scots Law of Contract
Hector L MacQueen
8 T B Smith's Property
D L Carey Miller
9 T B Smith: a Pioneer of Modern Medical Jurisprudence
David W Meyers
10 [to follow]
C Gane
11 Strange Gods in the Twenty-First Century: the Doctrine of Aemulatio Vicini
Elspeth Reid
12 Travelling the High Road with T B Smith: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Defence of the Civilian Tradition
Vernon Valentine Palmer
13 The Ties that Bind: T B Smith as a Comparative Lawyer
Daniel Visser
14 The Recognition Principle - Tracing Sir Thomas' Vision to the Present European Law
Erich Schanze
15 Professor Sir Thomas Smith QC - a Bibliography
Ross Gilbert Anderson

About the Author

Elspeth Reid is Professor of Scottish Private Law at the University of Edinburgh. She has published extensively in Scotland and abroad on comparative private law themes, including in particular the law of delict/tort. She is the Series Editor of the Edinburgh Studies in Law monograph series.

David Carey Miller is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Edinburgh and Analysis Editor of the Edinburgh Law Review


All the essays are interesting and well written: TB who loved language would have been delighted... This timely book [makes] a valiant attempt to assess his contribution to the law of Scotland. Everyone who is involved in the law of Scotland, judge, academic and practitioner, owes TB an immense debt: this book explains why.
- Joe Thomson
A very full appraisal of [Sir Thomas Smith's] work and, indeed, the man himself…the individual chapters by eminent writers are gems in their own right… rare and illuminating… So far as current practice is concerned all the chapters in their own way will increase understanding… All of the contributions, too numerous to note, are of the highest order. The volume may easily be commended to all with an interest in Scots law and it must be an essential library purchase. In that this is volume one of a series, the others are eagerly awaited standing the quality of the writing and the elegance of the physical product itself.

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