The Idea of Principle in Scots Criminal Law

Lindsay Farmer

in Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640706
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651450 | DOI:
The Idea of Principle in Scots Criminal Law

Show Summary Details


This chapter tries to articulate some of the ideas about principle — or the uses of the term — that are embedded in doctrinal writings on Scots criminal law. It then examines conceptions of principle in the literature of Scots criminal law, from Baron Hume's Commentaries to Gordon's Criminal Law, looking at the different conceptions of principle and their implications for the substantive criminal law. In so doing, it argues that Gordon's justly celebrated treatise on Criminal Law was primarily organised around an idea of principle that was in important respects alien to Scots criminal law, but that his distinctive and important contribution lies in the way that he was able in this work to graft this conception onto the more native and traditional ideas of principle that had informed the earlier development of Scots criminal law.

Keywords: Scots criminal law; principles; Baron Hume; Commentaries; criminal law

Chapter.  8347 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.