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4. Order of Securities on the Heritable Estate
THERE is a material difference between the old Scottish acts and those of the British parliament since the Union, both in their nature and their authority, and they require separate consideration.
Scottish Acts.—The era at which the acts of the Scottish parliament, still in force as statutes, commence, does not go so far back as the debatable periods in the history of Scottish legislation. Acts of parliament were undoubtedly passed long anterior to the date of any statutes which are now in force, or have been cited as authority by any of our institutional writers. The earlier parliaments acted as a great assize or high court of justice, and the proceedings on questions of private right were mixed up with those on public polity. But so early as the commencement of the fourteenth century, records of proceedings have been preserved which have every title to be considered acts of parliament, in as far as they embody the resolutions of the Estates of the realm in parliament assembled regarding matters of general law and public polity; while there is every reason to believe that
· Soe Mr Innes’s Preface to the first volume of the collected edition of the Acts of Parliament of Scotland.