Annual General Meeting and Lecture 2019

Professor Sunde delivers Stair Society Annual Lecture for 2019.

Stair Society AGM and Annual Lecture 2019

The Stair Society held its annual general meeting and annual lecture, hosted by the Faculty of Advocates, on 16 November 2019. The meeting was called to order by our President Lord Stewart.

Annual Report and Accounts

The minutes of the previous AGM were approved and the Secretary and Treasurer, Alistair Burrow presented the annual report and accounts which were approved by the meeting. Lord Stewart recorded thanks to Mr Burrow for his work in supporting the Society throughout the year.

Literary Director’s Report

Our Literary Director, Professor Mark Godfrey reported that the 66th Stair Society volume, Dr Alice Taylor’s edition of the auld laws, will be sent to members this month. This was a particularly challenging volume to print and Professor Godfrey offered thanks to the production team, Laurie Law and Ivor Normand, for their efforts in producing it. The 67th volume is to be a miscellany volume and Council has approved a modern edition of Regiam Majestatem. Lord Stewart recorded thanks to Professor Godfrey.

Election of Office Bearers and Council Members

The meeting approved changes to the governance of the Society. Lord Stewart will demit his office of president on 31 March 2020.  The meeting thanked Lord Stewart for his six years of service and some of the innovations that took place under his leadership, including the change of venue for the annual meeting and the introduction of Q&A sessions after annual lectures.

Lady Wolffe was proposed to succeed Lord Stewart as president from 1 April 2020.  The proposal was approved.

The rest of the office bearers intimated their wish to continue and the meeting approved this.

Ceit-Anna MacLeod and Dr Thomas Green are to retire as Council Members by rotation on 31 March 2020. Philip Hannay and Dr Lorna Macfarlane were proposed and approved as Council Members from 1 April 2020.


The meeting recorded congratulations to our Vice President Hector MacQueen on his CBE awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to legal scholarship in June 2019.
The meeting offered condolences to the families of T Gordon Coutts QC and David Sellar, both of whom we lost this year.

Annual Lecture

The meeting was followed by a stimulating annual lecture given by Professor Jørn Sunde (Bergen) on 'Birds of a feather flock together? A comparison of the legal order in the Norwegian and Scottish realm in the 13th century'.

The lecture is now available as a podcast from our Annual Lecture Podcasts page for those who were unable to attend or would like to hear it again.