Scots Law News has learned with deep sorrow of the early death on the night of 5/6 July 2004 of Peter Birks, Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford, and formerly Professor of Civil Law at Edinburgh.  He had been ill for some time.  Professor Birks wrote a number of valuable works on Scots as well as on Roman and English law, and gave much encouragement to many Scots academic lawyers at the outset of their careers and afterwards.  A few years ago, he sought to follow the example (if not the model) of Gloag & Henderson, to provide a structured and systematic view of English Private Law (Oxford UP, 2000).  He will probably be best remembered for his seminal contribution to the recognition of the principle of unjust enrichment as the basis of the English law of restitution, and as recently as last autumn he took this to its final conclusion in accepting that this entailed recognising absence of legal basis” rather than “unjust factors” as the root of enrichment law in England