n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - Professor Sir TB Smith en die ontwikkeling van die Skotse reg, oftewel, wat maak 'n regsakademikus suksesvol?

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



The Scottish jurist Professor Sir Thomas (TB) Smith QC (1915-1988) has left a contested legacy. While some dismiss him as a neo-civilian nationalist, who held unrealistic views about both the past and future of Scots law, others have greatly admired his efforts in promoting its principled development, especially during a rather dark age of Scottish legal scholarship. This note comments on aspects of Smith's legacy in the light of the recent publication of Elspeth Reid & David L Carey Miller (eds) <i>A Mixed Legal System in Transition-TB Smith and the Progress of Scots Law&lt;/i&gt; Edinburgh University Press 2005. This collection of essays by Scottish and foreign scholars, of whom a number knew him personally, contains the first sustained attempt at evaluating Smith's achievements and failures, thereby introducing more substance in a debate which for long has been clouded by emotion. Of particular interest, from a South African perspective, is to contrast Smith's legacy with that of his contemporary and friend, Professor JC de Wet (1912-1990) of Stellenbosch, and to draw some conclusions about factors which influence the success of legal academics.

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