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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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Ius Civile in Scotland, c 1600

Ius Civile in Scotland, c 1600

(p.34) 3 Ius Civile in Scotland, c 1600
Law, Lawyers, and Humanism

John W Cairns

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter analyzes the changing nature of the references to sources in Scotland in the 100 years or so after the founding of the College of Justice. It traces a decline in the overt reliance on Canon law through examination of the sources cited in the Jus feudale of Thomas Craig, written around 1600, and the Practicks of Sir Robert Spottiswoode, collected from the 1620s to the 1640s. It shows the continued significance of Canon law, but a failure to cite it by Spottiswoode, other than in his reliance on it for procedural issues. While Sinclair’s Practicks demonstrate that Scotland had a typical mix of ius commune (Canon and Civil laws) and ius proprium (Scots customs and statutes), Craig and Spottiswoode’s works suggest that in the intervening period there had been a subtle change out of which emerged a competing understanding of the nature of Scots law, located within the structure of the law of nature and nations in a Europe of developing nation states with imperial ambitions.

Keywords:   Scots law, Canon law, Practicks, Civil law, Sinclair, Thomas Craig, Sir Robert Spottiswoode

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