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Mapping the LawEssays in Memory of Peter Birks$
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Andrew Burrows and Alan Rodger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206551.001.0001

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Slavery and the Roman Law of Evidence in Eighteenth-Century Scotland

Slavery and the Roman Law of Evidence in Eighteenth-Century Scotland

Chapter:
(p.599) 32 Slavery and the Roman Law of Evidence in Eighteenth-Century Scotland
Source:
Mapping the Law
Author(s):

John W Cairns

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206551.003.0033

This chapter focuses on slavery, which was a recognized part of Roman society, and discusses the problems which it caused in the very different social conditions of 18th-century Scotland. The pursuer in a divorce action wished to call a slave from the Caribbean to give evidence of his wife's adultery. The ensuing legal debate about the competence of a slave to give evidence is analysed and it is shown how the very fact that Scots law did not recognize or regulate slavery led to uncertainty and potential confusion.

Keywords:   Scots, slavery, Roman law, adultery, competence, slaves, witness

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