Research in Law

We are one of the top law schools in the UK and home to world-leading research

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Our academic community is focused on world-leading impactful research aligned with the University’s mission of transforming lives, locally and globally.

Our research is organised around two themes: Law for a Sustainable World and Law for a Just World, with cross-cutting initiatives comprising the Interdisciplinary Legal Studies group, the Human Rights Research group, and the long-standing UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Science and Policy. We also work closely with colleagues from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy.

Corporate and commercial law

Our research expertise includes corporate insolvency, "corporate" governance and law across various organisational forms, and legal innovation and creativity.

Criminal law and justice

Research into criminal law and justice is undertaken by leading researchers who work on Scottish, English and international criminal law. Our work embraces substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, and the law of evidence, as well as aspects of international and transnational criminal law and transitional justice.

Environmental law

We are one of the leading law schools for environmental law research in the UK with experts in international, national and multi-level environmental governance. Particular areas of expertise include water law, sustainable development, biodiversity and ecosystems management, and environmental regulation.

Human rights

We are a thriving environment for legal and inter-disciplinary research on human rights. Focus areas include European human rights law, business and human rights, new technologies and artificial intelligence, human rights and private international law, information and privacy rights. We have active research collaborations with partners across world regions. Our human rights research informs law and policy development as well as social dialogue and public debate.

Law and Technology

We are a leading institution in law and technology research, teaching and engagement in the local, national and international spheres. We work across a number of legal frameworks including intellectual property, competition and regulation, data protection and freedom of information. We are also interested in how technology is used by legal profession. We work together with Lawtech start-ups including Dundee-based Juralio; we participate in the Future of Law Dundee initiative and we have a presence on the Law Society of Scotland’s Technology Law and Practice committee.

We work jointly with researchers from other academic institutions in Scotland, the UK, Europe and internationally, and we are members of SCOTLIN, the Scottish Law and Innovation Network, as well as working with Dundee colleagues in the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRSFS) and the Health Informatics Centre (HIC).

We have a strong research-teaching nexus and offer LLB and LLM courses in Intellectual Property, Lawtech and other law and technology-related subjects. We actively disseminate our research through knowledge exchange and engagement with external stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society and the public in Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Private international law

Dundee Law School has an international reputation for research in the field of Private International Law through the work of Peter McEleavy and Aude Fiorini. Their work focuses in particular on international family law, particularly international child abduction, and the Europeanisation of private international law.

They have provided advice to the UK & foreign governments and have acted as experts to the European Commission (TAIEX Office) and the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Peter’s work has been cited by appellate courts across the globe as well as by Advocates General of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Public international law

We are home to leading international law scholars who work in many different fields, such as water law, security, transnational co-operation, international criminal law, and international environmental law.

Public law

As public law within the United Kingdom continues its fascinating evolution, we continue to provide the research and expertise needed to stay on top of these changes. Professor Colin Reid has provided evidence to the Scottish Parliament on a number of occasions in relation to the implications of the UK's impending exit from the European Union.

We have recently refreshed our world leading Centre for Freedom of Information.

Additionally, staff members are also currently engaged in research on comparative public law, jurisprudence, and constitutional theory. Whilst navigating the post-Brexit constitutional and administrative law landscape, we will continue to house some of the leading voices on the development of UK public law.  

Scots Law

Most of our staff do research on Scots law and many regularly advise the Scottish Government and civil society on numerous issues, such as criminal, environmental, water, conservation, consumer protection and planning law. In addition, several members of staff have contributed to leading Scottish law textbooks and monographs.

Examples of impact

The success of the Law School’s strategic aim to benefit society can be seen in the impact of our research. Among others, Professor Ferguson’s research has impacted on how Police Scotland conduct eyewitness identification procedures and led to the enactment of legislation requiring the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to publish guidelines on such procedures.

Her research contributes to the research theme of Law for a Just World. Professor Ross’s research has impacted the role of sustainable development in law and policy in the UK, notably, the enactment of Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Her work contributes to both research themes - Law for a Just and Sustainable World.

Professor Page and Professor Reid’s research has impacted on constitutional law and environmental law, contributing to Law for a Just and Sustainable World. Likewise, Dr Hartmann’s research has impacted on the debate of the future of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Research stories