Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Practicks Definition:

Scots law: Court of Sessions judge's notes later compiled and released to jurists for study and precedent purposes, now superseded by modern law reports.
flag of ScotlandThe Law Society's 1992 Glossary describes the practicks as the earliest form of Scottish law reporting:

"[C]ollection of notes on decisions of the Court of Sessions formerly compiled by members of the Court (eg. Balfour). They were the precursors of the law reports and were originally recorded chronologically. The later practicks were arranged under subjects as digests."

Enid Marshall in General Principles of Scots Law:

"The foundation of the Court of Session in 1523 ... also resulted in the appearance in the 16th and 17th centuries of a type of legal writing known as practicks. There were collections of notes on decided cases, originally made privately by judges for their own use and later handed on and taking the name of their compiler, eg.g. Balfour's Practicks. Practicks were the forerunner of .. Scots ... law reports...."


  • Law Society of Scotland, Glossary: Scottish Legal Terms, Latin Maxims and European Community Legal Terms (Edinburgh: Butterworths, 1992), page 66.
  • Marshall, Enid, General Principles of Scots Law, 6th Edition (Edinburgh: Sweet & Maxwell, 1995), page 4.

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