Pamela Ferguson was appointed to the Chair in Scots Law in 2000. She was previously a Senior Lecturer in the Law School (from 1995-1999), and a Lecturer (1989-1995).
Professor Ferguson was a member of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service from 1986-1989. She was an examiner for the Law Society of Scotland for six years, and Convenor of the Law Society's Examination Board for three years.
Undergraduate: Scots Criminal Law and Evidence; Criminal Procedure
Postgraduate: Introduction to Healthcare Law and Ethics; Legal and Ethical Aspects of Pharmaceutical Products (Distance Learning Masters modules).
Professor Ferguson was the Director of the Healthcare Law and Ethics Distance Learning Masters Programme from its inception in January 2006 until 2010, then again from 2011 to 2014.
Postgraduate supervision: Professor Ferguson is interested in supervising PhD or Masters students who wish to explore aspects of criminal justice, criminal procedure or substantive criminal law. Comparative projects, in which students compare Scots criminal law or procedure with that in another jurisdiction, can also be accommodated. She is also keen to supervise research projects in aspects of healthcare law.
Professor Ferguson's main areas of research interest are Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure. She has also undertaken research into Healthcare Law, and her doctoral thesis focused on the legal liability of doctors, pharmacists and drug manufacturers for injuries caused by pharmaceutical products. This work resulted in her first monograph: Drug Injuries and the Pursuit of Compensation (Sweet & Maxwell, 1996).
In 1997 she was awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellowship and used this opportunity to undertake an empirical research project which explored legal and ethical aspects of clinical trials for new drugs. Other aspects of healthcare law which she has researched include consent to treatment, medical negligence, abortion, and euthanasia. Professor Ferguson's criminal law interests include procedural and evidential aspects of criminal law, as well as substantive criminal law. She is one of the authors of the Draft Criminal Code for Scotland with Commentary, published by the Scottish Law Commission in 2003. More recent books include Scots Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis (EUP, 2014, with C McDiarmid) and Breach of the Peace (DUP, 2013). She was a member of the Academic Expert Group, appointed by Lord Bonomy to consider alternatives to corroboration in criminal trials (its report is available here: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0046/00460650.pdf), and was subsequently appointed by the Scottish Government to the Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review. The Review Group’s final report is available here: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0047/00475400.pdf
'The Scottish Law on Child Cruelty and Wilful Neglect: time for reform?' Juridical Review: the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities, vol 49, no. 1, pp. 50-74.
'The presumption of innocence and its role in the criminal process' Criminal Law Forum, vol 27, no. 2, pp. 131-158. DOI:
'Reforming Scottish Criminal Procedure: In Search of Process Values' Bergen Journal of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, vol 4, no. 2, pp. 167-195. DOI:
Inspiring a medico-legal revolution: essays in honour of Sheila Mc Lean. Ashgate, Farnham.
'Moving from preparation to perpetration?: Attempted crimes and breach of the peace in Scots Law' Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, vol 11, no. 2, pp. 687-700.
'A victory for fairness and common sense: R v Hughes' Edinburgh Law Review, vol 18, no. 1, pp. 84. DOI:
'The corroboration requirement in Scottish criminal trials: should it be retained for some forms of problematic evidence?' International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol 18, no. 1, pp. 1-27. DOI:
Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review: Report of the Academic Expert Group . Scottish Government.
Scots criminal law: a critical analysis. 2nd edn, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
'‘If a picture paints a thousand words …’: the development of human identification techniques in forensic anthropology and their implications for human rights in the criminal process' International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol 17, no. 2, pp. 127-156. DOI:
Breach of the Peace. Dundee University Press, Dundee, Scotland.
'Sins of the father?: The "sons of Cadder"' Criminal Law Review, no. 5, pp. 357-368.
'A clear and coherent package of reforms?: the Scottish Government consultation paper on the Carloway Report' Criminal Law Review, no. 12, pp. 909-926.
'‘Smoke gets in your eyes . . .’: the criminalisation of smoking in enclosed public places, the harm principle and the limits of the criminal sanction' Legal Studies: the Journal of the Society of Legal Scholars, vol 31, no. 2, pp. 259-278. DOI:
Criminal law and criminal justice: an exercise in ad hocery. in EE Sutherland, KE Goodall, GFM Little & FP Davidson (eds), Law making and the Scottish Parliament: the early years. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 208-224. DOI:
'Repercussions of the Cadder case: the ECHR's fair trial provisions and Scottish criminal procedure' Criminal Law Review, no. 10, pp. 743-757.
'The drafting of offence provisions by the Scottish Parliament' Statute Law Review, vol 23, no. 3, pp. 161-185. DOI:
Scots Law of Evidence: fit for purpose in the digital and global age? Scottish Universities Insight Institute, Glasgow.
'Constructing a criminal code' Criminal Law Forum, vol 20, no. 1, pp. 139-161. DOI:
'The TGN1412 drug disaster' Sci Tech Lawyer, vol 5, no. 4, pp. 12-13.
Scots criminal law: a critical analysis. Dundee University Press.
'Reforming rape and other sexual offences' Edinburgh Law Review, vol 12, no. 2, pp. 302-307. DOI:
'Clinical trials and healthy volunteers' Medical Law Review, vol 16, no. 1, pp. 23-51. DOI:
'Reforming the Scots law of rape: redefining the offence' Edinburgh Law Review, vol 10, no. 2, pp. 185-208. DOI:
'Re-configuring Scots criminal procedure – seismic shifts?' Edinburgh Law Review, vol 10, no. 1, pp. 102-112. DOI:
Human 'guinea pigs': why patients participate in clinical trials. in SAM Mc Lean (ed.), First do no harm: law, ethics and healthcare. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 165-186.
'The criminal jury in England and Scotland: the confidentiality principle and the investigation of impropriety' International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol 10, no. 3, pp. 180-211. DOI:
'Codifying criminal law (2): the Scots and English draft codes compared' Criminal Law Review, no. 2, pp. 105-119.
'Codifying criminal law (1): a critique of Scots common law' Criminal Law Review, no. 1, pp. 49-59.
'Information giving in clinical trials: the views of medical researchers' Bioethics, vol 17, no. 1, pp. 101-111. DOI:
A draft criminal code for Scotland with commentary. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.
'Legal and ethical aspects of clinical trials: the views of researchers' Medical Law Review, vol 11, no. 1, pp. 48-66. DOI:
'Patients' perceptions of information provided in clinical trials' Journal of Medical Ethics, vol 28, no. 1, pp. 45-48. DOI:
'Unravelling the enigma: a reply to Professor Farmer' Scottish Law & Practice Quarterly, vol 7, no. 2, pp. 81-86.
'Selecting participants when testing new drugs: the implications of age and gender discrimination' Medico-Legal Journal, vol 70, no. 3, pp. 130-134. DOI:
The European Convention on Human Rights and Scots criminal law. in Human rights and Scots law. Hart Publishing, pp. 307-327.
'Do researchers feel an LREC hinders research?' Bulletin of Medical Ethics, no. 165, pp. 17-19.
'Patients' experiences and views of clinical trials' Medicine and Law, vol 20, no. 1, pp. 143-152.
'Breach of the peace and the European Convention on Human Rights' Edinburgh Law Review, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 145-168. DOI:
Medical matters. in B Rennie (ed.), Butterworths Scottish older client law service. Butterworths, Edinburgh, pp. Chapters 1-6.
Legal aspects of surgical practice. in A Cuschieri, RJC Steele & AR Moossa (eds), Essential surgical practice. vol. 1, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, pp. 551-557.
'Testing a drug during labour: the experiences of women who participated in a clinical trial' Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, vol 18, no. 2, pp. 117-131. DOI:
Corroboration and sexual assaults in Scots law. in M Childs & L Ellison (eds), Feminist perspectives on evidence. Feminist perspectives on evidence, Cavendish Publishing, pp. 149-165.
'Criminal law' Scottish Law & Practice Quarterly, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 172-173.
'An independent and impartial tribunal? Recent cases from the Scottish courts' Human Rights & UK Practice, vol 1, no. 4, pp. 13-14.
'Killing “without getting into trouble”? Assisted suicide and Scots criminal law' Edinburgh Law Review, vol 2, no. 3, pp. 288-314. DOI:
'The civil liability of the pharmacist' Medicine, Science and the Law, vol 38, no. 3, pp. 258-260.
'Causing death or allowing to die? Developments in the law' Journal of Medical Ethics, vol 23, no. 6, pp. 368-372. DOI:
'Striving to keep alive?: Care and treatment decisions affecting severely handicapped patients in Britain' European Journal of Health Law, vol 4, no. 4, pp. 321-345. DOI:
'The legal liability of the community pharmacy for personal injury caused by medicinal products (1): Liability for negligence' Pharmaceutical Journal, vol 258, no. 6927, pp. 133-135.
'The legal liability of the community pharmacy for personal injury caused by medicinal products (2): Contractual liability' Pharmaceutical Journal, vol 258, no. 6929, pp. 209-211.
'Posthumous conception: Blood and gametes' Scots Law Times, pp. 61-64.
'Kelly v Kelly and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh NHS Trust' Family Law, vol 27, pp. 788-790 .
Drug injuries and the pursuit of compensation. Sweet & Maxwell, London.
'Consent to medical treatment, by older children in English & Scottish law' Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, vol 12, no. 2, pp. 449-473.
'‘Medicinal products and medical negligence’' Clinical Risk, vol 2, no. 5, pp. 168-171.
'The withdrawal and withholding of medical treatment' Family Law, vol 26, pp. 563-565 .
'An ill for every pill' New Law Journal, vol 145, no. 6699, pp. 846, 848.
'Compensation for alleged vaccine injury' Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, vol 39, no. 3, pp. 80-82.
Controversial aspects of the law of rape: an Anglo-Scottish comparison. in RF Hunter (ed.), Justice and crime : essays in honour of the Right Honourable The Lord Emslie .... T & T Clark, pp. 180-210.
'Pharmaceutical products liability: 30 years of law reform?' Juridical Review: the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities, pp. 226-241.
'Liability for pharmaceutical products:: a critique of the 'learned intermediary' rule' Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, vol 12, no. 1, pp. 59-82 . DOI:
'Automatism- negation of mens rea: a rejoinder' Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, vol 37, no. 2, pp. 58.
'Private prosecutions' Solicitors' Journal, vol 135, pp. 952.
'The limits of the automatism defence' Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, vol 36, no. 11, pp. 446- 449.
'Criminal liability for the supply of solvents' Scots Law Times, pp. 301- 303.