Since the mid-1980s there has been a Legal History Discussion Group in the University of Edinburgh. Originally founded by Professor Peter Birks, it was very many years organised by Professor Hector MacQueen and then later by your blogger. It initially took the form of an hors d’oeuvre and then a main paper, and was accompanied by wine. A minute book preserved in Edinburgh University Archives records meetings from the foundation until around 2000, and makes very interesting reading, indicating how much important research started off in discussion before it.
Recently, the format changed into that of a single paper, resembling that of the School’s Roman Law Group, but instead focusing on legal history from the Middle Ages onwards. The Centre for Legal History is proud to announce that the Legal History Discussion group will now be known as the Alan Watson Seminar after Professor Alan Watson, who held the Chair of Civil Law in Edinburgh from 1968 to 1980. Professor Watson has very kindly agreed to this. The first paper to be given under this new title will be on 2 May 2014 by Dr Xavier Prévost (Université Paris I – Ecole nationale des chartes, Paris), who will speak on ‘The Use of the Glossators and Commentators by Jacques Cujas (1522-1590): A Humanist Criticism of the Medieval Jurisprudence’. A subsequent Blog Entry will discuss Professor Watson and his time at Edinburgh.