Professor Pamela Ferguson

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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.


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 and was subsequently appointed by the Scottish Government to the Post-Corroboration Safeguards Review

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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.

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Professor Ferguson’s research focuses on Scottish Criminal Law, the Law of Evidence, and Criminal Procedure. Areas of expertise include the definitions of crimes and defences, police powers, criminal trials, the role of the jury, and the rights of accused persons, victims and witnesses.

Contact Corporate Communications for media enquiries.

Areas of expertise

  • Criminal law
  • Scots Law