In April of 1994 the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen approved the establishment of a Centre for the Study of the Civil Law Tradition. In 2009, after a break of a number of years, the Centre was relaunched with a broader remit. The Centre provides a single institution devoted to the study of the Civil law and the Civil tradition in modern legal systems.
The aims of the Centre are to
The Centre is currently planning a series of events for the 2012-2013 session. This will include a series of three seminars, and a two-day workshop on the practicks on 3rd-4th May 2013. The workshop will be funded by the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies, and held in association with the Legal Authority and Governance Project and the Society and Culture in the North Sea World Project.
Anyone who would like to speak at the Centre, attend any of our events, or request more information is more than welcome to contact Adelyn at email@example.com. You can also stay aprising of the Centre's activities by following us on twitter: @civillawcentre.
The Centre has also run a successful seminar series. Previous speakers have included
The Centre has also hosted an annual conference. In July 2011, we held a conference on the theme of 'Scottish Legal History'. See the conference programme.
In May 2012, we held a two-day workshop funded by the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies and in association with the Society and Culture in the North Sea World Project on the theme 'Law and Governance in Renaissance Scotland'. See the conference programme.
Various courses promoting the aims of the Centre are currently available to students of the University, including:
In recent years a number of the Honours courses have had guest speakers. In 2010-2011, we were delighted to have Mr James Merson (advocate) join us for a seminar in Legal History in Recent Courts Practice. In 2011-2012, we will be welcoming Dr Ivan Milotec (Zagreb) to present at a joint meeting of the Centre's seminar series and the Roman law honours course.
We are delighted to welcome Katherine Anderson as the Centre's first PhD student after the relaunch. Katherine will be studying the law and procedure in the Northern Isles after the transfer into Scottish jurisdiction. She will be co-supervised by Professor Robin Evans-Jones and Dr Adelyn Wilson. She is funded by the Society and Culture in the North Sea World Research Project.
Anyone interested in pursuing postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen are encouraged to contact Dr Adelyn Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the members of the Centre.
A full list of publications by the various members of the Centre can be found by following the links below:
Adelyn joined the University in September, 2009. She had previously taught at the University of Edinburgh while working on her doctoral thesis. Her research interests include Roman law and Scottish and European legal history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She is a member of the Stair Society, the Scottish Legal History Group, the Legal History Discussion Group, the European Society for Comparative Legal History, the Association of Young Legal Historians, and the Society of Legal Scholars. She currently teaches and coordinates:
She is also the current director of the Civil Law Centre and the convener of the Aberdeen Roman law, Legal History and Civilian Tradition research group.
David L Carey Miller came to Aberdeen as a lecturer in 1971 following a period of practice at the Natal Bar as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. With prior degrees from the Universities of Natal and Edinburgh, his Aberdeen doctoral thesis subject was the role of the advocate. Turning increasingly to property law David Carey Miller published South African and Scottish textbooks in 1986 and 1991; Land Title in South Africa (with Anne Pope, University of Cape Town, 2000), was researched with British Academy and Carnegie Trust funding. Professor Carey Miller's interest in comparative law and legal history is reflected in the joint editorship of two volumes of essays: the first (with David W Meyers, 1992) as a tribute to Professor Sir Thomas Smith QC; the second (with Professor Reinhard Zimmermann, 1997) to mark the quincentenary of the University of Aberdeen.
A particular current aspect of his work is the area of property problems in portable antiquities and works of art. David Carey Miller is currently director of the Baltimore/Maryland Summer School in Comparative Law, an annual five week programme which the Aberdeen Law School has hosted since 1987. He was Head of the School of Law for the 2005-2006 academic year and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in early 2006. He has been appointed a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies for three years from September 2006. Professor Carey Miller retired from his full-time post in 2006 but continues to be active in teaching and scholarship.
Professor Evans-Jones specialises in Roman law, unjustified enrichment and comparative law. He edited The Civil Law Tradition in Scotland, published by the Stair Society in 1995. The first volume of his work on unjustified enrichment (details below) was published in 2003, and he is currently researching for the second volume. His contributions to scholarly literature have appeared in:
Professor Paisley's doctorate was awarded for a thesis on Crown Rights in Relation to Land in Scotland. He joined the School following a period as a solicitor in private practice specialising in land law and conveyancing in Scotland and is conducting research related to land law including servitudes.
Andrew joined the School of Law as a lecturer in September 2010, following three years as a doctoral student at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His recently completed postgraduate studies concerned perceptions of legal authority in Scotland during the sixteenth century. While in Cambridge, he supervised Civil Law Part 1A for Caius College for the academic year 2009-2010. His research interests include Scottish and European legal history, with a particular focus on the history of legal thought. He is also interested in the law of Obligations and Property law. He is involved in teaching Foundations of Private law, An Introduction to European Legal Systems, Conveyancing, Scottish Legal History (Honours), European Legal History (Honours), and Corporeal Moveable Property (Honours).
Catherine Ng joined the School of Law as a lecturer after a period of private practice in Toronto, and then completing her DPhil in intellectual property law at the University of Oxford and her post-doctorate work at the Graduate Institute (HEI - now "Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement") in Geneva. Her principal teaching and research interests are in the laws relating to intellectual property, the media, the arts, antiquities, history, and in legal history and anthropology as they pertain to these subject areas. She is the Director of the Post-Graduate Research Student Training Programme at the School of Law.
Books recently published by current and former members of the Centre include the following:
A small number of papers by present and former members of the Centre can be read directly from here.
Dr Ernest Metzger, formerly a member of the Centre and now at the University of Glasgow, manages a comprehensive internet 'portal' for Roman law. Roman Law Resources gives access to a wide range of internet materials, including sources, secondary literature, bibliographies, CD-ROMs, book reviews, discussion lists, discussion forums, newsgroups, journals, events, faculties, libraries, instititutes, chairs, errata, booksellers, and other related websites. The site also contains a directory of historians of ancient law, a collection of corrections to the English translation of Justinian'sDigest, two large palingenesiae of late imperial laws, and a moderated discussion forum for Roman and civil law.
In September of 1995 the Centre hosted A Celebration of the European Legal Tradition, a conference to mark the quincentenary of the University of Aberdeen. Seventy participants from Britain and the continent attended the two days of presentations and discussion of Roman, Civil, and European Law. The papers have been published by Duncker and Humblot.
In 1995 Professor Gero Dolezalek prepared an enormous catalogue of the older legal literature held at the library at the University of Aberdeen. The catalogue is principally concerned with the literature of ius commune, and comprises all law books (generally) at the University of Aberdeen printed before 1800, all books on Scots law and other non-English law before 1840, and some later law books hidden in unsuspected places. His An Account of Antiquarian Legal Literature at the University of Aberdeen is available.