Many tributes have been paid to Joseph (Joe) Thomson, former Regius Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow, who died at the weekend, days after his 70th birthday.
Joe Thomson born in Campbeltown and attended Keil School in Dumbarton, before taking his LLB at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating he took up a lectureship at the University of Birmingham, then spent 10 years at King's College, London before moving in 1984 to the University of Strathclyde, where he was Professor of Law until 1991 when he was appointed to his chair at Glasgow. He was Regius Professor until 2005 and remained an Honorary Professor in the School of Law until his death. He was also a member of the Scottish Law Commission from 2000 until 2009.
Professor Thomson's main research interests were in the field of Scots private law. His first published textbook was in family law, which ran to seven editions, but was followed by works on delictual liability (five editions) and a co-authored text on contract law (four editions), as well as a general work on Scots private law. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1996.
Many former students have tweeted their sadness at the news of his death and recall how he could command a full turnout even for lectures at 9am on a Monday. "He filled the room with energy and character", one wrote. "His annual party was legendary."
In a tribute from the Scottish Law Commission, its chairman Lord Pentland said: "On behalf of everyone at the Scottish Law Commission I would like to express our great sadness at the death of Professor Joe Thomson over the weekend. Joe served as a dedicated and successful Law Commissioner for a decade from 2000. He led and contributed to a great number of reform projects, including a comprehensive one on the law of succession. His work on these projects has made a real difference to the law of Scotland and to our society. All those who knew Joe during his time here had enormous respect and affection for him. He was highly professional with a profound understanding of the law. He was renowned also for his joie de vivre. We send our deepest sympathy and condolences to his widow, Annie, and to Joe’s family."