Edinburgh Law School’s second oldest Chair
filled by Professor John W. Cairns
The University of Edinburgh Law School is pleased to announce that its established Chair in Civil Law has been filled by Professor John W. Cairns, FRSE. Dating from 1710, the Chair of Civil Law is the second oldest chair in Law and one of the most prestigious chairs in Civil Law in the United Kingdom. It has been held by a series of distinguished scholars including Sir Thomas (T.B.) Smith and Alan Watson, and was most recently occupied by Peter Birks, who vacated the chair in 1987 and subsequently became Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Cairns was Lecturer in Jurisprudence at Queen's University Belfast before returning to Edinburgh to hold the posts of lecturer, senior lecturer, reader and eventually the Chair of Legal History in 2000. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Miami (1988, 1991, 1995) and Southern Methodist University (1986). He held the office of Associate Dean (Postgraduate)/Director of the Graduate School in Law from 2000-2003. From 1996-2003 Professor Cairns was Book Review Editor of the Edinburgh Law Review and he has served on the editorial boards and committees of a number of legal history periodicals. He was consultant on Scots Law to the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, and since 1998 has been Chairman of the Council of the Stair Society. From 2006 to 2008 Professor Cairns was president of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society; he continues on its Board. In 2008, he became a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Alan Watson Foundation. He is a member of the Peer Review College of the AHRC. His current major research interests are legal theory and legal education in the Scottish Enlightenment; slavery and law in eighteenth-century Scotland; and the legal histories of Scotland and Louisiana, publishing extensively in all. He has recently been involved in a research network that drafted guidelines on the interpretation of slavery in international law.
Along with filling the Chair in Civil Law, Edinburgh Law School is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Guido Rossi as lecturer in Legal History. Dr. Rossi studied law in Italy and England. He holds a PhD in Political Economy and Law from Pavia (Italy) and has recently completed a PhD in Legal History at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in late medieval ius commune and early modern mercantile law and is currently researching on mercantile customs in Britain and Continental Europe during the sixteenth century.
These two appointments reflect the School’s continuing commitment to Legal History and Civil Law and will strengthen and broaden its research and teaching in these fields under the aegis of the School’s active Centre for Legal History.
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