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“We were lucky to have Joe as a trustee”.


Joe at his best, launching a new edition of his books 

It is with regret that we share the news that Joe Thomson,  a former CID Trustee, renowned Scottish lawyer and academic, latterly a member of the Scottish Law Commission and Regus Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow, died in the early hours of Saturday 12th of May. Joe had been diagnosed at the beginning of the year with pleural mesothelioma, where asbestos fibres apparently inhaled caused inflammation and scarring damage to the DNA of cells in his lungs, causing changes resulting in tumours. A colleague with whom he shared an office in London University in the 1970’s recently died of exactly the same condition.

To those of us who fondly remember Joe, he was one of the brightest, most intelligent, most considerate and charming men, every ready to offer advice, assistance and help or to share legal insights to the challenges of operating a small international children’s charity. Joe married late in life and after the end of his second term in the Scottish Law Commission, he and his wife Annie retired to his home town of Campbeltown, where they were active in the town and surrounding community.

Joe started his academic career as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, before moving to King's College, London. In 1984, he became Professor of Law at the University of Strathclyde, and in 1991 was appointed to the Regius Chair of Law at the School of Law of the University of Glasgow. 

Joe was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1996, and was President of the Society of Public Teachers of Law (now the Society of Legal Scholars).  He was appointed to a five-year term on the Scottish Law Commission in 2000, and received a further four-year term in 2005, at which point he resigned from the Glasgow Chair.

Joe was latterly editor of the Juridical Review, Scotland’s oldest and most prestigious legal journal and he authored a suite of definitive textbooks on Scottish law, reference to which has seen thousands of young under-graduates through to their final exams.

Joe’s funeral will take place at Lorne and Lowlands Parish Church in Campbeltown on Thursday 17th May at 13.00 hours and will be attend by the Charity’s Chief Executive to represent the charity and the children he cared so much about.


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