Cairns, John


Professor of Civil Law
University of Edinburgh
Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh EH8 9YL
United Kingdom


Research interests
History of Scots Law; Slavery in the Eighteenth Century; Legal History of Louisiana

Natural Law Teaching in Scotland

Selected bibliography concerning Natural law

  • Books

Law, Lawyers, and Humanism: Selected Essays in the History of Scots Law (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2015).

Enlightenment, Legal Education, and Critique: Selected Essays on the History of Scots Law (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2015).

  • Articles

'John Millar and Slavery' in MacCormick's Scotland, ed. Neil Walker (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), p. 73-106.

'Natural Law, National Laws, Parliaments and Multiple Monarchies: 1707 and Beyond' in Northern Antiquities and National Identities. Perceptions of Denmark and the North in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Knud Haakonssen and Henrik Horstbøll, in Historisk-filosofiske Meddelelser 101 (Copenhagen: Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. 2008), p. 88- 112.

'Attitudes to Codification and the Scottish Science of Legislation, 1600-1830' in 22 Tulane European and Civil Law Forum (2007), p. 1-78.

'The Origins of the Edinburgh Law School: The Union of 1707 and the Regius Chair', 11 Edinburgh Law Review (2007), p. 300-348.

'The First Edinburgh Chair in Law: Grotius and the Scottish Enlightenment' in Ex iusta causa traditum: Essays in Honour of Eric H. Pool, ed. Rena van den Bergh (Pretoria: Unisa, 2005), p. 32-58.

'Stoicism, Slavery, and Law: Grotian Jurisprudence and its Reception' in Grotius and the Stoa, ed. Hans W. Blom and Laurens C. Winkel, Assen, Koninijkle Van Gorcum (= (2001-2002 [in fact 2004] 22-23 Grotiana) 2004, p. 197-232.

'Legal Theory' in The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. Alexander Broadie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 222-242.

'Ethics and the Science of Legislation: Legislators, Philosophers, and Courts in Eighteenth-Century Scotland', in Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik, (2000), 8, 2001, p. 159-180.

'John Millar, Ivan Andreyevich Tret'yakov, and Semyon Efimovich Desnitsky: A Legal Education in Scotland, 1761-1767' in Russia and Scotland in the Enlightenment: Proceedings of the International Conference 1-3 September 2000, ed. Tatiana Artemieva, Peter Jones, and Michael Mikeshin in The Philosophical Age, Almanac vol. 15, (Edinburgh, St Petersburg: 2001), p. 20-37.

''As Famous a School for Law as Edinburgh for Medicine': The Glasgow Law School, 1761-1801' in The Glasgow Enlightenment, ed. A. Hook and R. Sher (East Linton: Tuckwell Press in association with the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society 1995), p. 133-59.

'Adam Smith and the Role of the Courts in Securing Justice and Liberty' in Adam Smith and the Philosophy of Law and Economics, ed. R.P. Malloy and J. Evensky (Dordrecht: Kluwer 1994), p. 31-61.

'Adam Smith's Lectures on Jurisprudence: Their Influence on Legal Education' in Adam Smith: International Perspectives (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1993), p. 63-83.

'The Influence of Smith's Jurisprudence on Legal Education in Scotland' in Adam Smith Reviewed, ed. P. Jones and A. S. Skinner (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 1992), p. 168-189 (revised version of paper in Adam Smith: International Perspectives above).

'John Millar's Lectures on Scots Criminal Law', Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 8 (1988), p. 364-400.