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A Mixed Legal System in TransitionT. B. Smith and the Progress of Scots Law$
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Elspeth Reid and David Carey Miller

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623358

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623358.001.0001

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“Calculated to our Meridian”? The Ius Commune, Lex Mercatoria and Scots Commercial Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

“Calculated to our Meridian”? The Ius Commune, Lex Mercatoria and Scots Commercial Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Chapter:
(p.120) 6 “Calculated to our Meridian”? The Ius Commune, Lex Mercatoria and Scots Commercial Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Source:
A Mixed Legal System in Transition
Author(s):

A D M Forte

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623358.003.0006

This chapter considers the role of the ius commune and that of the lex mercatoria in the development of commercial law in Scotland during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although Smith did not have much to say about the lex mercatoria, it seems difficult to discuss the one without consideration of the other. The chapter focuses on insurance law in the eighteenth century and on bills of exchange in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although loss allocation by means of insurance was certainly not unknown in seventeenth-century Scotland, its rise as the normal mechanism for achieving that end is, essentially, an eighteenth-century phenomenon: indeed it is not until the mid-eighteenth century that substantial numbers of cases come before the courts and a native literature, though slight, begins to develop. Bills of exchange, on the other hand, are very much a seventeenth-century phenomenon in Scottish terms; their use being increasingly important only after 1625 and becoming ‘a regular feature of Scottish mercantile life’ after 1660.

Keywords:   Scots law, commercial law, insurance law, bill of exchange

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