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Enlightenment, Legal Education, and CritiqueSelected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 2$
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John W. Cairns

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682133

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682133.001.0001

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John Millar’s Lectures on Scots Criminal Law

John Millar’s Lectures on Scots Criminal Law

(p.271) 10 John Millar’s Lectures on Scots Criminal Law*
Enlightenment, Legal Education, and Critique

John W Cairns

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on John Millar's lectures on Scots criminal law as Regius Chair of Civil Law in the University of Glasgow from 1761 to 1801, along with his legal philosophy and approach to Scots criminal law. It first explains how Millar's Smithian analysis of law led him to argue that punishment was based on the need to right wrongs done. It then examines how others, including earlier law professors, had classified Scots criminal law. It shows that Millar's particular approach to Scots criminal law meant that some crimes could be considered simply as crimes against society and punished purely on the grounds of police or utility, not on that of justice. The chapter concludes with an epilogue that takes into account Millar's influence on his pupil, David Hume, and through Hume, potentially on modern Scots criminal law.

Keywords:   punishment, John Millar, lectures, Scots criminal law, University of Glasgow, legal philosophy, law professors, crimes, David Hume

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