Stair Society AGM and Annual Lecture 2018

Professor Hector MacQueen (photo by Tom Drysdale)

The Stair Society held its annual general meeting and annual lecture, hosted by the Faculty of Advocates, on 17 November 2018.


The Society's President the Hon. Lord Stewart opened the meeting with mention of losses of two long-term members and friends of the Stair Society. We are saddened to note the loss of Athol Murray and Alan Watson. Both presented annual lectures to the Society and the later served for many years as the Society’s Secretary for the USA. Professor John W Cairns gave a fitting tribute to Professor Watson, with whom many of those present would have studied.


The Society's Literary Director, Professor Mark Godfrey offered congratulations to Professor John Ford on the achievement of the Society’s most recent publication, its 65th volume, Alexander King’s Treatise on Maritime Law, and gave heartfelt thanks to the production team, production manager Laurie Law and editor Ivor Normand for their work in producing the volume. Stair Society volumes for the next few years - on medieval and early modern Scots law - are already in preparation.
Lord Stewart commended Professor Ford’s book an excellent example of the aims and purpose of the Society.


The meeting approved changes to the governance of the Society. Tom Drysdale was thanked for his eighteen years of service to the Society as Secretary (1998 to 2016) and Treasurer and more recently as Chairman of Council (2016 to 2018). He did not wish to seek re-election as Chairman of Council and Professor John Ford was proposed and elected in his place. Council member Graham Burnside was proposed and elected as Vice-Chairman in his place. (See Current Office Bearers for a complete list of the Society’s Officers and Council.)


The meeting was followed by an entertaining annual lecture given by the Society’s Vice-President, Professor Hector MacQueen on ‘The Kings of Scots v The Earls of Douglas 1406-1455: a Game of Thrones?’. 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.