The Stair Society was founded in 1934 to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the history of Scots Law by the publication of original documents and by the reprinting and editing of works of sufficient rarity or importance.

The Society, a registered charity, has produced over 60 volumes, aiming to publish a volume each year (although this is not guaranteed). Some of these are of antiquarian interest, while others are of wider intellectual and historical significance.

Membership is open to all with an interest in the history of Scots law, in the UK or abroad. Our members include practising lawyers, legal academics, law students, and a wide range of academic and professional institutions, libraries and law firms.

Latest news

Call for Papers for the 2017 British Legal History Conference -
The Call for Papers for the 2017 British Legal History Conference has just been announced. The theme of the conference is 'Networks and Connections'. The conference will be held at University College London, 5-8 July 2017.
Sheriff J Irvine Smith, 1926-2016 -
With the passing of Sheriff Irvine Smith on 11 January 2016 the Society has lost one of its longest serving members, one of its greatest characters and an important contributor to its publications programme.

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Annual Lecture

The Stair Society's AGM and Annual Lecture for 2015 was held on 14 November 2015 in the Mackenzie Building, Old Assembly Close, Edinburgh, by courtesy of the Faculty of Advocates.

Lord Sumption, a Justice of the UK Supreme Court and a noted medieval historian, spoke on 'Anglo-Scottish Relations, 1290-1513, and the Beginnings of International Law'.

A podcast of the lecture - and our annual lectures from 2013 and 2014 - is available from our Podcast page.