Chapter

Travelling the High Road with T B Smith: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Defence of the Civilian Tradition

Vernon Valentine Palmer

in A Mixed Legal System in Transition

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780748623358
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651467 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623358.003.0012
Travelling the High Road with T B Smith: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Defence of the Civilian Tradition

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This chapter examines Smith's mentalité, which is necessarily limited and subject to further review because it relies exclusively upon Smith's own writings and an outsider's interpretation of them, and attempts to clarify our image of him and his image of himself. It argues that Smith was not a legal nationalist in the emotional and romantic sense. The suggestion that he was a legal irredentist with a passion to preserve (or reclaim) all parts of Scots law is somewhat overbroad and in part rebutted by his pragmatic positions on codification, on commercial law, on law reform, and his self-assessment of his place as a mixed jurisdiction jurist. The chapter also traces in part the evolution of his comparative law methodology, because it increasingly became outward reaching and non-nationalistic, and is an important indicator of a cosmopolitan mindset which existed in fact, not simply in theory.

Keywords: nationalism; professional career; legal irredentist; Scots law; comparative law

Chapter.  7850 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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