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Law, Lawyers, and HumanismSelected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 1$
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John W Cairns

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682096

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682096.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

From Claves Curiae to Senators of the College of Justice: Changing Rituals and Symbols in Scottish Courts

From Claves Curiae to Senators of the College of Justice: Changing Rituals and Symbols in Scottish Courts

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 From Claves Curiae to Senators of the College of Justice: Changing Rituals and Symbols in Scottish Courts*
Source:
Law, Lawyers, and Humanism
Author(s):

John W Cairns

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682096.003.0001

This chapter discusses aspects of the ceremonies involved in constituting a court in Scotland in the Middle Ages, focusing on a sixteenth-century description of what were called the claves curiae, the ‘keys of the court’, necessary for its proper constitution. Analysis of this will then be followed by that of a later description of a ceremony of admission as a lawyer, a ceremony rich in ritual and symbolism. This description permits appreciation of the significant change in Scottish legal culture: a change that created a court dealing in the learned law of the ius commune, in the proceedings of which much was reduced to writing, deliberations were secret, and legal professionals were much more clearly in charge.

Keywords:   Scots law, rituals, symbols, ceremonies, Scottish court, Middle Ages, legal culture

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