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Two Toms and an ideology for Scots Law: T B Smith and Lord Cooper of Culross

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Mixed Legal System in Transition
Subtitle of host publicationT B Smith and the Progress of Scots Law
EditorsElspeth Reid, David L. Carey Miller
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)0748623353, 9780748623358
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Studies in Law


This chapter focuses on the ‘Cooper–Smith ideology’, which can be summarised broadly as follows. Modern Scots law was a ‘mixed’ legal system, in which a basically Roman law or Civilian structure of private law had been overlaid since the 1707 Union by influence from the English Common Law. The principal agents of that influence had been the common legislature in Westminster, UK government departments in Whitehall, and the common appeal court in the House of Lords. The influence from England had rarely if ever been for the good. The salvation of Scots law lay in drawing upon its own historical roots and the experience of other ‘mixed’ systems, such as those of South Africa and Louisiana, where too a basically Roman Civilian system was threatened by infiltration from other legal traditions.

    Research areas

  • legal nationalism, Comparative law, legal history

ID: 477261