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The Legal Language of Scottish BurghsStandardization and Lexical Bundles (1380-1560)$
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Joanna Kopaczyk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.001.0001

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Law and the Burgh

Law and the Burgh

(p.114) 7 Law and the Burgh
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs

Joanna Kopaczyk

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an overview of the history of law in Scotland in the medieval and early modern period, with special emphasis on the role of the burghs in the development of legal customs, institutions, and instruments. The contemporary English legal system provides a comparative background. It is crucial, however, to understand the distinctive features of Scots law and the influences from continental legal traditions (civil and canon law) to appreciate the linguistic patterns emerging in Scottish legal texts, brought frequently into the discussion to signal the links with the analytical part of the book. The focus is placed on feudalism and the rich legal machinery developed during that period: early burgh laws and the structure and functions of burgh courts. The special place of the burghs in the Scottish Parliament is also acknowledged. Finally, the discussion zooms in on early Scottish men of law and the texts they produced.

Keywords:   Scots law, civil law, common law, burghs, legal history, feudalism, burgh courts, early lawyers, legal records

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