Section: W. A. Wilson Memorial Lectures

W. A. Wilson Memorial Lectures

WA Wilson Memorial Lectures

John Blackie (University of Strathclyde)
Historically Informed Law Reform
29 April 2015
David Snyder (Washington College of Law)
Metamorphoses in the Law of Contract: A Mythological Lecture
30 April 2014
Reinhard Zimmermann (Max Planck Institute, Hamburg)
Damages in European Contract Law
(2014) 18 Edinburgh Law Review 193
2012 Robert Stevens (University of Oxford) Insults
2012 George Gretton (University of Edinburgh) On Law Commissioning and Other Things (2013) 17 Edinburgh Law Review 119
2010 Lionel Smith (McGill University) Scottish Trusts in the Common Law (2013) 17 Edinburgh Law Review 283
2009 Hector MacQueen (University of Edinburgh) Scotland’s First Women Law Graduates: An Edinburgh Centenary H L MacQueen (eds), Miscellany Six (Stair Society vol 54, 2009) 221
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2007 Lord Hope of Craighead (Lord of Appeal in Ordinary) The Strange Habits of the English H L MacQueen (eds), Miscellany Six (Stair Society vol 54, 2009) 309
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2007 Vernon Palmer (Tulane University) Two Rival Theories of Mixed Legal Systems (2008) 12.1 Electronic Journal of Comparative Law
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2004 Horatia Muir Watt (University Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne) European Integration, Legal Diversity and the Conflict of Laws (2005) 9 Edinburgh Law Review 6
2002 Shael Herman (Tulane University) Specific Performance: A Comparative Analysis (2003) 7 Edinburgh Law Review 5 and 194
2000 Keith Ewing (King’s College London) Constitutional Reform and Human Rights: Unfinished Business? (2001) 5 Edinburgh Law Review 297
1999 Joe Thomson
(Scottish Law Commission and University of Glasgow)
1998 Eric Clive (Scottish Law Commission and University of Edinburgh) Law-Making in Scotland: From APS to ASP (1999) 3 Edinburgh Law Review 131
1997 Sir Anthony Mason (Former Chief Justice, High Court of Australia) Negligence and the Liability of Public Authorities (1998) 2 Edinburgh Law Review 3
1996 James Gordley (University of California at Berkeley) Contract and Delict: Toward a Unified Law of Obligations (1997) 1 Edinburgh Law Review 345
1995 Lord Rodger of Earlsferry (Lord Advocate) Thinking about Scots Law (1996) 1 Edinburgh Law Review 3


WA (Bill) Wilson (1928-1994) taught law at the University of Edinburgh from 1960 until his death in 1994 at the age of 65. From 1972 onwards he was the Lord President Reid Professor of Law. His academic interests were exceptionally wide. A memoir of Bill Wilson forms the first chapter of a series of essays which were published in his memory: see Hector L MacQueen (ed), Scots Law into the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of WA Wilson (1996).

Following his death a large number of former students and colleagues contributed to a fund for the establishment of a lecture series and the first WA Wilson Memorial Lecture was given on 17 May 1995 by Lord Rodger of Earlsferry in the Playfair Library, Old College in the University of Edinburgh. Lord Rodger began:

It is a great honour to have been asked to give this lecture. None the less it would surely be wrong to conceal that for me as for everyone this occasion is tinged with much more than a little sadness. How much better it would have been if we were not here in memory of Bill Wilson, but rather we could still feel that, if fortune were good to us, we might see him approaching, ready for a chat, ready to exchange the latest gossip or to share news of some absurdity which he had detected in the far reaches of the statutory instruments which no one save him ever penetrated … He had an abundance of friends and in the days following his death you could meet few people in Scottish legal circles or in the wider circles of academic lawyers who were not anxious to share their particular Wilson anecdote, usually involving one of his drier than dry observations. This wealth of friendship is reflected not only in the huge attendance here this evening but also in a flood of contributions to the fund set up in his memory.

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