Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Scottish Legal History Research Guide

This research guide in Scottish legal history covers the feudal period through 1901.

Internet and Electronic Resources

Academic Sites

This is a very rich site, with numerous links to useful resources on topics such as medieval England, early and later medieval common law, early medieval maps and church documents.

This is an invaluable database for Scottish legal history research. In addition to transcriptions and translations of the original manuscript sources for the Acts and Proceedings of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707, this site also includes an excellent historical essay on the Scottish Parliament to 1707 and a useful bibliography of sources.



Encyclopedias and Biographical Resources

Although BAILII's coverage for its Scottish documentation starts in the 1990s, coverage in its United Kingdom Legislation database starts in 1215. House of Lords decisions date back to 1838. BAILII also has Law Commission Reports and European Union resources.

  • UK Cases Combined (ALLCAS database) – Covers All England Law Reports Reprints from 1158 when available.
  • England and Wales Reported and Unreported Cases (CASES database). Covers reported cases from 1558 and tax cases from 1875 and also contains decisions of note from Scotland.
  • Scottish Session Cases (SESCAS database). Coverage starts with 1930.
  • United Kingdom Reports All (UK-RPTS-ALL). Coverage starts with 1865
  • Scots Law Times (SLT-RPTS). Coverage begins with 1893. This database carries full-text decisions from the Court of Session, High Court of Justiciary and the House of Lords. There are also selected decisions of Sheriff Courts.
  • United Kingdom Case Law Locator (UK-CASELOC). Coverage starts with 1865.
  • All Law Reports (ALL-RPTS). Coverage begins with 1865.
  • United Kingdom Scots Law Case Locator (UKSCO-CASELOC)

Libraries, Archives and Historical Societies

This site includes a number of very useful guides for Scottish legal and constitutional history research, and a link to facilitate non-local researchers

The Stair Society was established in 1934 to promote the study of Scots Law. This is an extremely useful site for research, containing a number of legal history links to additional sites for Scottish legal history research. A number of Stair Society publications are listed throughout this guide.

Parliamentary Sites

The Scottish Parliament's website provides historical summaries of the early Scottish Parliament and the Treaty of Union.