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Introduction by Andrea Longson

The Advocates Library is widely regarded as the finest working law library in the British Isles. It was formally inaugurated in 1689 and is located in Parliament House in Edinburgh beside the Court of Session – Scotland’s supreme civil court.

The case papers presented here are those collected by the Advocates Library in relation to Donoghue v Stevenson. They comprise the Amended Closed Record (the parties’ written pleadings), the Reclaiming Note (the formal document submitting the decision to review), the Appellant’s Case (the appellant’s written argument) and the Respondent’s Case (the respondent’s written argument).

According to the preface to the first edition of Session Cases (1821–22) the publication of Session Cases was started to provide a note and index to the case papers being collected and bound by the Advocates Library.

From those relatively simple origins Session Cases has developed to become the most authoritative law reports in Scotland.

The Advocates Library receives the papers for Court of Session cases and binds them in case number order. Each case has a corresponding number which appears in the Session Cases report to help identify the relevant “Session Papers”.

The Advocates Library “Session Papers” collection is a private one. Access is normally restricted to members of the Faculty of Advocates – an independent body of lawyers who have been admitted to practice as Advocates before the Courts of Scotland.

However, bona fide researchers may apply in writing to be granted access from the Keeper of the Library – by contacting me at the address below or through the Faculty of Advocates web site at

Case papers can be most easily traced by citing the full case name and the Session Cases citation.

Andrea Longson,
Formerly Senior Librarian, Advocates Library, Parliament House, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF