World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Thomas Smith (barrister)

Sir Thomas Broun Smith, QC, FBA, FRSE (3 December 1915 – 15 October 1988) was a lawyer, soldier and academic.


  • Origins 1
  • Military service 2
  • Academic career 3
  • Published works 4
  • Notes 5


Smith was the son of John Smith, DL, JP, and Agnes Smith. He married in 1940, Ann Dorothea Tindall. He studied at Christ Church, Oxford, (MA 1937, Boulter exhibitioner, Eldon Scholar).

He was called to the English Bar by Gray's Inn in 1938 and admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland in 1947. He obtained a DCL (Oxon) in 1956 and a LL.D from the University of Edinburgh in 1980. He was awarded an honorary LL.D at the University of Cape Town. He was made a Knight in 1981.

Military service

He served in the Gordon Highlanders and Royal Artillery from 1937 to 1946 and was mentioned in dispatches. He obtained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Smith was attached to the Foreign Office in 1946-1947.

Academic career

In 1949 he became Professor of Scots Law at the University of Aberdeen and was Dean of the Faculty of Law 1950-1953 and 1956-1958. In 1956 he became a Queen's Counsel. From 1958 to 1968 he was Professor of Civil Law at the University of Edinburgh and from 1968 to 1972 Professor of Scots Law. He was a part-time member of the Scottish Law Commission 1965-1972 and full-time 1972-1980. In 1980 he became the General Editor of the Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopedia. Professor Smith was Visiting Professor at Tulane University (Louisiana) 1958 and at Harvard Law School 1962-1963 and he was Tagore Professor, Calcutta, 1977. He was United Kingdom representative to committees of experts at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) and the Council of Europe. He has been described as one of the most influential, interesting and controversial figures in the development of modern Scots law.[1]

Published works

Smith published a large number of works on legal subjects. Among those were:

  • Doctrines of Judicial Precedent in Scots Law (1952)
  • Scotland: The Development of its Laws and Constitution (1955)
  • British Justice: The Scottish Contribution (1961)
  • Studies Critical and Comparative (1962)
  • A Short Commentary on the Law of Scotland (1962)
  • Property Problems in Sale (1978)
  • Basic Rights and their Enforcement (1979).


  1. ^ Smith, T.B.; A Mixed Legal System in Transition. T.B. Smith and the Progress of Scots Law, Edinburgh University Press, 2005
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.