News from the Centre for Legal History, Edinburgh

Normally, the Centre has photographs of its research students at graduation to show; but this year, due to COVID, the usual graduation ceremonies have not taken place. Nonetheless, it is worth pointing out the success of two research students, Charles Fletcher and Julien Bourhis, who have been awarded their doctorates. Charles’s thesis was entitled “Justice and Society in Strathspey: The Regality Court of Grant, c. 1690-1748”, that of Julien, “Criminal Procedures in Early Seventeenth-Century Scotland: a Medieval Legacy? Pleading and Proving in the Case of Isobel Young, Prosecuted for Witchcraft (1629)”. 

It is also worth noting that Dr Guido Rossi, Reader in the Centre, has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of his ground-breaking research on comparative legal history. Dr Rossi will use the prize to pursue a new project exploring fundamental questions around the development of English commerce and commercial law, and its relationship with Europe. Having discovered a new archive of commercial documentation, Dr Rossi will reconstruct sixteenth century English commercial law and practices, showing their profound similarity with contemporary commercial practices and rules found in Continental Europe. This will have a transformative impact on legal scholarship, as it will lead to completely reconsidering the development of commercial law in England, and its place within Europe.

Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded annually to recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.

The Centre congratulates the two new doctors and Dr Rossi.