Papers of John Moffat (1935-1973)

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of loose manuscript sheets (in some disorder) found among Moffat's papers, and they include teaching notes, material belonging to a book on legal reasoning that Moffat had been working on at his death, and copies of these notes on law, norms of reasoning, legal language and the nature of legal thought.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Moffat was born in Glasgow on 4 June 1935. He was educated at Beath High School, Cowdenbeath, Fife, and he studied at Edinburgh University where he obtained a First Class Classics degree (M.A.) in 1956, before he went to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was called to the English Bar (Lincoln's Inn) in 1962. For two years he did work relating to India at the Commonwealth Relations Office and then in 1964 he became a Lecturer in the Department of Public Law at Edinburgh University. In 1973 he became a Senior Lecturer. John Moffat was killed in an accident in Stuttgart, Germany on 31 July 1973.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Material acquired from A. H. Campbell, 1975, Accession no. E75.31.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Campbell, A.H. in 'Legal reasoning: the work of John Moffat', reprinted in The Juridical Review. Part 1 - April. 1975. pp.22-31. (2) 'Obituary' University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 26. 1973-1974. p.266. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1974.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.