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Book reviews

15 August 16

Review of Possession of Corporeal Moveables (Anderson)

by Stewart Brymer (review editor: David J Dickson)

Possession of Corporeal Moveables

Craig Anderson

PUBLISHER: EDINBURGH LEGAL EDUCATION TRUST
ISBN: 978-0955633270
PRICE: £30

This is Volume 3 in the Studies in Scots Law series.

“Possession” is a commonly used word, but what does it mean in legal terms? To answer this question, the author of this book (which is an amended version of his doctoral thesis) undertakes a detailed analysis of the Scots common law and underlying Roman law, as well as "pre-Stair" Scots law.

The term “possession” is used in various ways in Scots law and in legislation. As the author points out, the English law is markedly different from the Scots law on the subject. In English law, there is no clear distinction between ownership and possession, unlike Scots law and civilian jurisdictions generally. Chapter 2 is a detailed analysis of the historical and comparative approaches to the concept, drawing on a number of other jurisdictions. Unsurprisingly, all the systems require some degree of direct and indirect physical control of the property possessed.

The book is a very detailed treatment. I doubt whether it will be widely read by practising solicitors, but that, with respect, is not the benchmark against which it should be judged. There will be times when a full understanding of this subject will be important and this book will then be an invaluable aid.

Professor Stewart Brymer OBE, WS, Brymer Legal Ltd

 

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