The Stair Society: Scotland’s Legal History Society

Stair Society Publications Directory

The main series of Stair Society publications is listed below by volume number – please click the entry titles for full details of each.  Unless otherwise stated all volumes currently in print are available from the Avizandum Law Bookshop.

Selected articles from our Miscellany volumes are freely available for download in PDF format.

Vol 64

By Thomas Craig of Riccarton, translated, edited and annotated by Leslie Dodd

This is the first of a projected three volumes providing a Latin text and facing English translation of the Jus feudale of Thomas Craig.

Published 2017

Vol 63

Edited by Hugh M. Milne

This volume is an annotated edition of manuscript and printed legal papers drafted or dictated by James Boswell in cases that he was involved in during the period from 12 November 1767 to 11 November 1769. It continues the exploration of Boswell’s legal papers that Milne published as the Society’s 60th volume in 2013.

Published 2016

Vol 61

Edited by Thomas M. Green, PhD, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

In this volume, Dr Green presents decisions of the Commissary Court in Edinburgh concerned with marriage at a time when the Protestant Reformation meant that spiritual jurisdiction over such matters was unclear. Green describes the situation in his Introduction which also includes brief biographies of the first four Commissioners: James Balfour. Edward Henryson, Clement Litill, and Robert Maitland.

Published 2014

Vol 60

Edited by Hugh M. Milne

This volume is an annotated edition of manuscript and printed legal papers drafted or dictated by the famous literary figure James Boswell in cases in which he first became involved as an advocate during the period from 29 July 1766 to 11 November 1767.

Published 2013

Vol 59

Edited by Olivia F Robinson, FRSE, FRHistS, kMOestAk, formerly Douglas Professor of Civil Law, University of Glasgow

Matters Criminal was first published in 1678. It was almost completely superseded by Hume’s Commentaries on the Law of Scotland respecting Crimes (1800) but Mackenzie provided the concepts and framework on which Hume built.

Published 2012

Vol 58

Edited by Professor A A M Duncan, Emeritus Professor of Scottish History and Literature, University of Glasgow, with a legal afterword by Professor H L MacQueen

The title of this collection indicates a different substance than the title of the first study of them, Lord Cooper’s Register of Brieves, 1286-1386 (Stair Society, vol 10, 1946), prepared in wartime when access to records and manuscripts was severely limited.

Published 2011

Vol 57

Gero Dolezalek, Chair of Civil Law, University of Aberdeen

Scotland under Jus Commune is a census of manuscripts of legal literature in Scotland, mainly between 1500 and 1660. The work catalogues and gives details of a large number of Scots law manuscripts from a period when relatively few legal works made their way into print.

Published 2010

Vol 53

Edited and with commentary by Angus Stewart, QC and Dr David Parratt, Advocate, with an introduction by Angus Stewart, QC

This publication continues the work of publishing the Faculty of Advocates’ Minute Books begun by the Stair Society in 1976. The document now reproduced as The Minute book of the Faculty of Advocates, Volume 4, 1783-1798  is a folio manuscript book listed as FR 3 in the Dickson inventory of Faculty Records lodged for safe-keeping in the National Library of Scotland.

Published 2007

Vol 48

David R Parratt, PhD, Advocate

At the start of researching this study into written pleadings, the writer wanted to answer three questions. First, what was originally meant by “written pleadings” in Scots law? Second, how was it that written pleadings and the rules of written pleadings arose? Third, and probably influenced by the zeigeist of the late 1990s, the writer wanted to explore whether modern Scottish civil procedure was in need of reform, and whether the system of written pleadings as traditionally practised would continue to play a part.

Published 2006


Volumes indicated as available may become unavailable without notice, as a result of sales. Neither The Stair Society nor the Avizandum Law Bookshop can accept responsibility to prospective purchasers for this.

From time to time the Society is asked to dispose of, or to source, extended runs or complete sets of volumes on behalf of members or their families. If you are interested in such sales or acquisitions, you are invited to direct your enquiries in the first instance to the Avizandum Law Bookshop.