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Roman Law, Scots Law and Legal HistorySelected Essays$
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William Gordon

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625161

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625161.001.0001

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The Civil Law in Scotland☼

The Civil Law in Scotland☼

(p.324) 24 The Civil Law in Scotland
Roman Law, Scots Law and Legal History

William M Gordon

Edinburgh University Press

This article examines three issues – the distinction between Roman law and the Civil law derived from it; reception of legal systems and the place of Roman and Civil law in Scottish legal education. The first important distinction is frequently overlooked, leading to misunderstanding of the extent to which ideas were developed out of the Roman texts, for example, the foundations of private international law, and ignorance of the complexity of the history of the Civil law and its potential influence. Reception of a legal system need not mean full acceptance of it and Scotland drew upon the Civil law rather than adopting it and also drew on the Canon law which brought the first connection with the Civil law. The reduction in the teaching of Roman law and hence understanding of it reduces the scope for its continuing influence but also is a loss to legal education by reducing exposure to the thinking of great lawyers.

Keywords:   Roman law, Civil law, Canon law, Reception, Legal education

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