Call for Papers: Legal History in Modern Practice

Legal History in Modern Practice
Call for Papers

The Law School at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, will host a conference on the subject of Legal History in Modern Practice between the 22nd and 24th of May 2020. This conference aims to provide a forum for the discussion of the part that historical scholarship might play in the development of modern Scottish legal doctrine. In his 1947 essay on the Future of the Legal Profession, Lord Cooper of Culross observed that ‘the Scottish lawyer has been first and foremost a comparative lawyer since the thirteenth century, and when he ceases to be a comparative lawyer Scots Law will die’. 

The American scholar Professor Gordley has, however, observed more recently that ‘even if a comparative law scholar were only interested in the structure of modern rules, he would need the help of history’. 

Following these insights the organisers cordially invite the submission of papers considering the value and utility of historical legal scholarship for modern Scots law. Such papers may – among other things – consider the contemporary role of Civilian doctrine in Scottish practice, the role of historical scholarship in law reform and the courts, or opportunities for the Scottish legal profession to develop neglected doctrines.

Papers addressing any area of Scots law (private or public) are welcomed, as are those which consider the Scottish dimension of international or internationalised areas of law. We would ask those who are interested in presenting a paper at this conference to send an abstract of no more than 300 words to the organisers at by 31 October 2019.

The conference organisers are pleased to confirm that the Hon. Lord Stewart, Senator of the College of Justice and current President of the Stair Society, shall provide the keynote address at this event.

Any further questions about the conference can be directed to the organisers, Dr Craig Anderson and Jonathan Brown, at and

The organisers would be delighted should any members of the Stair Society decide that they wish to present a paper at the event and so they would encourage any members with an interest in this area to send an abstract by the deadline (31 October 2019).

Updates concerning the conference will also be posted on the conference twitter page, @LHMPConf