A snail in a bottle that was no storm in a teacup, Lord Kinclaven encourages viewers to declare Donoghue v Stevenson the best entry in Session Cases since we celebrate 200 years of these venerable law reports.
The legal importance of the choice in Donoghue v Stevenson, 1932 SC(HL) 31, is beyond compare. I won’t rehearse its significance to the development of law. It is still cited and loved by lawyers, academics and students across the frequent law world. That way, I think, can be taken as read.
There have already been two international conferences in Paisley dedicated to the situation and they attracted attendees from all over the globe. The books, cases and articles dealing with Donoghue v Stevenson are simply too numerous to specify.
However, along with international legal Significance,”The Paisley Snail” case has the following special features which function to set it apart from all other instances:
It is the case which is given the most prominence on the Scottish Council of Law Reporting’s (SCLR) website and it is featured in detail in their associated educational videos and materials.
I believe this to be the only case to have a part of the pursuer — along with a commemorative plaque — built in the locus. The locus being The Wellmeadow at Paisley.
It is also, I think, the only situation to have needed a pipe tune named after it. The Paisley Snail pipe tune was composed by a Canadian piper in honour of Martin Taylor QC. It was a present from The Paisley Irregulars of Vancouver — a group of lawyers who are dedicated to the instance. They also helped to generate a movie about the case and also have been working on an opera. Martin’s donations feature on the SCLR site also.
The situation also caught the imagination of a renowned Scottish artist, David Michie OBE, RSA. A fitting tribute to a fantastic case.
Simply speaking, the clear winner of this poll ought to be Donoghue v Stevenson.