Gloag and Henderson's The Law of Scotland
The 13th edition of Gloag and Henderson’s The Law of Scotland was published in late November by W. Green, the leading publishers of books on Scots law. This book is known as the Bible of Scots law, and is used throughout the legal profession by judges, solicitors, advocates, academics and students as an authoritative and up to date explanation of all the private law of Scotland (in other words, all the law of Scotland not relating to the country’s political governance or crime). The book is also much used in consumer advice bureaux and money advice centres. Insofar as any book on Scots law is a best-seller within the admittedly restricted market of Scots law, this books is a best seller and will shortly be in every law firm’s library. When a lawyer is asked to provide guidance on any area of private law, the first place he will usually start his research is with this book’s detailed explanation of the relevant legislation and applicable case law. The book was first written in 1927 by Professors Gloag and Candlish Henderson, of Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities respectively, as an introductory text of all Scots law for students, but over time it mostly left its student market behind, not least because of the cost (at present £195), and is predominantly written for legal practitioners. Because it is such a large book (about 1340 pages) it has to be written in a very succinct house style, with no word wasted; but at the same time it must be intelligible and not so densely written that the reader finds it indigestible. The current edition is subject to the overarching editorships of Professor Hector MacQueen of the Scottish Law Commission and Lord Eassie, P.C., a judge in the Inner House of the Court of Session. They in turn have commissioned the rewriting and updating of the book from a team of particular experts in their respective areas. Nicholas Grier, subject group leader for Law, who was also involved in the 12th edition, has written the final five chapters in the book on the subjects of partnership law, company law, the law of associations, bankruptcy law and the law relating to diligence, diligence being the Scots word for the various methods of enforcement of court judgements and in particular the enforcement of the payment of debts. Over the last few years there have been many changes to the law in all these areas, but particularly in the law relating to bankruptcy and diligence. In these days of “payday” loans and both irresponsible lending and ill-advised borrowing, the law in these areas is a matter of increasing importance to many people.
Copies will shortly be available in the library and the book will be added to the ever-growing collection of books written by academics within the Edinburgh Napier Business School. Although at present the book is in hardback, It is hoped soon to be available in e-form, and for hardy insomniacs, a version will also be available on Kindle.