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 UP, 2015

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

  • Articles

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

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

"Attitudes to Codification and the Scottish Science of Legislation, 1600-1830" 22 Tulane European and Civil Law Forum 2007, pp. 1-78.

"The Origins of the Edinburgh Law School: The Union of 1707 and the Regius Chair", 11 Edinburgh Law Review 2007, pp. 300-348.

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

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

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

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

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

"'As Famous a School for Law as Edinburgh for Medicine': The Glasgow Law School, 1761-1801", The Glasgow Enlightenment, ed. A. Hook and R. Sher, East Linton, Tuckwell Press in association with the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society 1995, pp. 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, pp. 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, pp. 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, pp. 168-189 (revised version of paper in Adam Smith: International Perspectives above).

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