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The Spaces of Justice


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Justice-Personnel, Procedure and Places 2 The Courtroom in Context 3 The Development of the Modern Scottish Court System 4 The Emergence of Modern Scottish Court Buildings: The Superior Courts-The Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary 5 The Architecture of Scottish Courts 6 The Iconography of Scottish Justice 7 Scottish Courts Going Forward into the Future Appendix: Courthouse Gazetteer-Sheriff Courts Followed by High Courts Bibliography Index About the Authors

About the Author

Peter Robson is a poverty lawyer who teaches at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Johnny Rodger is professor of urban literature at the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art.


This absorbing book, an interdisciplinary collaboration between academics, is as far as I know unique in Scottish legal and architectural scholarship. . . . This book, in short, can be recommended to anyone with an interest in the past, present, or future of Scotland's court system. * The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland *
The architecture of our public buildings embodies our societal values and makes manifest our priorities. This thoroughly researched work asks important and timely questions: What is our vision for Scotland's future 'spaces of justice'? Should there be wider professional, public and architectural debate? How do we ensure public investment creates buildings that are meaningful and by design enable progressive and inclusive legal process? -- Karen Anderson, architect and chair of Architecture and Design Scotland
Robson and Rodger have produced a masterful and in depth study of the hitherto neglected institution that is the Scottish courthouse: as historical monument, symbol of civic pride and judicial independence. This is a fascinating survey of those spaces in which Scottish law has been crafted and developed over centuries and of a system under unprecedented pressure to respond to the very different and evolving demands of 21st century justice. -- Dame Elish Angiolini, Principal St Hugh's College Oxford ( former Lord Advocate and Solicitor General for Scotland)
This is a fascinating and thought provoking piece of socio-legal scholarship - a worthwhile read for all of those with an interest in the provision of justice in Scotland, who will undoubtedly, as a result, find their engagement with the spaces in which our justice system operates to be a richer and more rewarding experience. -- Lord Clark, Court of Session Judge
A marvelous and insightful book. Original, thought-provoking and timely, it makes us see the places and spaces of law and justice in a new way. Interdisciplinary work at its best, the authors raise important questions about the courts and justice. The book uses the history and development of the legal system to help better us understand contemporary debates. Highly recommended. -- Richard Collier, Professor at University of Newcastle ( former editor of Social and Legal Studies)
This book is a very welcome addition to the burgeoning international literature on the architecture of justice spaces and provides a very welcome focus on the much neglected topic of Scottish courts. The gazeteer is particularly valuable and provides rich material for future research. -- Linda Mulcahy, Professor, LSE, author of Legal Architecture
This is a welcome and timely study of the history, context and significance of Scotland's court buildings. In today's more culturally and socially fluid society, the stability and solidity once offered by courthouses seem less relevant to current generations. The recent programme of court closures diminishes their significance and status yet further. Professors Robson and Rodger's fascinating book charts the development of what are essentially architectural manifestations of civic-mindedness, albeit primarily bourgeois in their provenance and intent. Their story is also the story of Scottish society, as it moved from local decision-making to a more centralised bureaucracy. -- John Pelan, Director, The Scottish Civic Trust

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