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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Books, Law and Lawyers in Scotland: From Humanism through Enlightenment (LAWS10191)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore the development of Scots law through the seventeenth to the nineteenth century by examining the linked topics of legal literature, book collecting, legal education and the development of the legal profession. It will explore how from the late Renaissance through the Enlightenment there developed a Scottish legal literature, the links between that legal literature and the wider literature (primarily on the ius civile, but also on the ius naturale and ius gentium), and its impact on the practice of law and thinking about law in Scotland. These intellectual developments will be linked to the thinking of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the development of legal education and the legal profession. It will finish with consideration of a nineteenth-century aftermath.
Course description Students will gain familiarity with the development of legal education and training, as well as with the literature of the period and the literature on the period. They will acquire an understanding of the legal profession and its cultural location within Scottish society, while able to reflect on it critically in a comparative context.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have acquired a knowledge of the development of legal literature, legal culture, legal education in the period covered, and be able to demonstrate and utilize that knowledge in writing and class discussion.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to exercise choice over reading in the sources and secondary literature of historical material relating to law.
  3. Ability to exercise critical intelligence in context to analyse specific problems dealing with varied material.
  4. Consolidate and develop writing skills, and those of study, understanding and expression.
  5. Exercise autonomy in study, taking ownership of their own learning, while appreciating the significance of the different perspectives of others all in an ethical fashion, while developing an awareness of relativity of certain values.
Reading List
John W. Cairns, Enlightenment, Legal Education and Critique: Selected Essays on the History of Scots Law, vol. 2, EUP 2015
John W. Cairns, Law, Lawyers and Humanism: Selected Essays on the History of Scots Law, vol. 2, EUP, 2015-
John Finlay, The Community of the College of Justice: Edinburgh and Court of Session, EUP, 2012
Karen Baston, The Library of Charles Areskine (1680-1763): Scottish lawyers and book collecting, 1700-1760 available electronically PhD
John Ford, Law and Opinion in Seventeenth-Century Scotland Hart, 2007.
Various specialist essays in periodicals and books
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsBooks,Law,Lawyers,Humanism,Enlightenment,Legal History
Course organiserProf John Cairns
Tel: (0131 6)50 2065
Course secretaryMs Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2056
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