Senior Lecturer

Open Access Champion

LLB (Hons), Dip LP, Solicitor, PhD
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Gillian Black is a Senior Lecturer in Law, with teaching and research interests in family law, particularly adult relationships; privacy; data protection; and contract law.  Before joining Edinburgh Law School as a Lecturer in 2005, Gillian qualified as a solicitor with Shepherd & Wedderburn in Edinburgh, working in their Commercial Contracts division, and then spent 18 months as a teaching assistant in the School of Law at the University of Glasgow.  She completed her PhD on publicity rights in Scots law part-time between 2005-2009. 

Gillian’s work to date has focused on two strands:  personality rights, through privacy and publicity rights; and contract law.  Her publications include Publicity Rights and Image: Exploitation and Legal Control (Hart, 2011), arising from her PhD; the first Scots law title on Data Protection for the Stair Memorial Encyclopedia; and the latest edition of Woolman on Contract.  She is now building on this work in the field of relationships and family law, firstly through an exploration of privacy and personality within families, and secondly, the use of contracts to regulate aspects of family relationships, including pre-nuptial agreements and financial provision on separation.

She welcomes PhD enquiries which relate generally to her fields of interest. In particular she would be interested in supervising research in all areas of family law.

Courses Taught

Comparative Family Law: Adult Relationship (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Contract (Honours) (Course Organiser)

Data Protection and Information Privacy (LLM)

Legal Issues in Adult Relationships (Honours) (Course Organiser)

PhD Supervisees

Daniel Torres Goncalves  'The role of law interpretation to the protection of Digital Identity Rights'

Catriona McMillan  'How adequate are the present regulations and regulatory structure as a means of dealing with legal and ethical issues that arise from the use of embryos for research and artificial reproduction?'

Leslie Stevens  'A contextual approach to the information governance of personal and sensitive personal data used for research.'


Gillian Black Woolman on Contract (5th ed) (W Green, 2014)

Martin Hogg, Gillian Black, David Cabrelli, Laura Macgregor Contract Law Update 2010-2012 (, 2012)
Abstract: This is the second edition of 'Contract Law Update', a text aimed at providing summaries and analysis of major contract cases from Scottish and English law. The cases discussed include coverage of: - Pre-contractual liability - Formation of contract - Incorporation of terms - Contractual interpretation - Implication of terms - Unfair terms - Remedies for breach of contract - Contract and unilateral promise - Contract and unjustified enrichment - The contract of agency The work will be of valuable assistance to both practitioners and law students. (ISBN 9781291231885)

Gillian Black Publicity Rights and Image: Exploitation and Legal Control (Hart, 2011)

Gillian Black Woolman on Contract (W Green, 2010)

Gillian Black Data Protection - Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia (The Law Society of Scotland/LexisNexis, 2010)

Edited Books

Gillian Black Business Law in Scotland, 2nd edn (W.Green, 2011)

Gillian Black Business Law in Scotland (W. Green, 2008)

Journal Articles

Gillian Black 'When is a Parent not a Parent?: CS v KS and JS and the Question of Genetic Parentage or Social Parenting' (2015) Edinburgh Law Review 192 263-268

Gillian Black, Rachael Craufurd Smith, Smita Kheria, Gerard Porter 'Scotland the Brand - Marketing the Myth?' (2015) Scottish Affairs 47-77

Gillian Black, Leslie Stevens 'Enhancing Data Protection and Data Processing in the Public Sector: The Critical Role of Proportionality and the Public Interest' (2013) SCRIPTed 10 93-122
Abstract: Data protection in the public sector has suffered from a number of high profile breaches over the last decade, revealing a culture of weak compliance, especially in comparison with that in the private sector. This article examines certain factors which make public sector data processing distinct, and how the lack of clarity regarding the routes to legitimate processing may be exacerbating these problems. By closely examining the jurisprudence regarding Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998, which provides the legitimate bases for data processing, we reveal the current problems public sector data controllers face in determining whether their processing is "necessary" and therefore legitimate. We determine that the test of necessity is reliant on proportionality, requiring the interest in processing the personal data to be balanced against the data subjects' data protection and privacy interests. This in turn requires a detailed consideration of the public interests at stake, in providing the public services and respecting the personal data involved. We conclude by providing a structured and coherent three-step test for data controllers to apply in reaching their decision. This test focuses on the critical issues in balancing the competing interests, enabling data controllers to take a principle-based decision as to whether or not their processing is indeed in the public interest, proportionate and necessary - and therefore ultimately legitimate. This three-step test offers greater clarity for data controllers, which in turn should enhance the rigour of their data processing, thereby strengthening the data protection culture and benefiting data controllers, data subjects, and the public at large.

Gillian Black 'Exploiting Image: Making a Case for the Legal Regulation of Publicity Rights in the United Kingdom' (2011) European Intellectual Property Review 413

Gillian Black 'Formation of Contract: The Role of Contractual Intention and Email Disclaimers' (2011) Juridical Review 97

Gillian Black 'Publicity and Image Rights in Scots Law' (2010) Edinburgh Law Review 364

Gillian Black 'A New Experience in Contract Damages? Reflections on Experience Hendrix v PPX Enterprises Ltd' (2005) Juridical Review 31

Gillian Black 'The Cult of Celebrity and Trade Marks: the next instalment' (2004) SCRIPT-ed 12

Gillian Black 'Data Protection Law in Light of Durant v Financial Services Authority' (2004) Juridical Review 295


Gillian Black 'Exclusive Privilege: Adam Smith, John Millar, and the Creation of a New Real right?' in James Chalmers (eds) Glasgow Tercentenary Essays (Avizandum Publishing Ltd, 2014) 20-53

Gillian Black 'Contract Formation and Non-Performance in Scots Law' in Reiner Schulze, Fryderyk Zoll (eds) The Law of Obligations in Europe: A New Wave of Codifications (Sellier, 2013) 245

Gillian Black 'Recent Developments in Publicity Rights in The UK: Where Now for Celebrities?' in Hugh C Hansen (eds) Intellectual Property Law and Practice Vol 11 (Hart, 2010) 497

Gillian Black 'Office of Fair Trading v MB Designs (Scotland) Limited and Others' in Howells, Geraint; Nordhausen, Annette; Parry, Deborah; Twigg-Flesner, Christian (eds) The Yearbook of Consumer Law 2007 (Ashgate, 2007) Chapter 20, p411
Abstract: A review of the judgment in this case, which was the first action of its kind in Scotland by the OFT for interim enforcement orders under the Enterprise Act 2002.

Notes and Reviews

Gillian Black 'Error Reduced' (2015) Edinburgh Law Review 140-146

Gillian Black 'The Law Relating to Parent and Child in Scotland, by AB Wilkinson and Kenneth McK Norrie' (2014) Scots Law Times 97

Gillian Black 'Privacy considered and jurisprudence consolidated: Ferdinand v MGN Ltd' (2012) European Intellectual Property Review 34(1) 64-69

Gillian Black 'Gertain Howells, Iain Ramsay and Thomas Wilhelmsson, "Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law"' (2011) Edinburgh Law Review 509

Gillian Black 'Michael Furmston and GJ Tolhurst "Contract Formation: Law and Practice"' (2011) Edinburgh Law Review 507

Gillian Black 'Niall R Whitty and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds) "Rights of Personality in Scots Law: A Comparative Perspective"' (2010) Edinburgh Law Review 541

Gillian Black 'OK! for some: Douglas v Hello! in the House of Lords' (2007) Edinburgh Law Review 402

Gillian Black 'Editorial: "Douglas v Hello! - An OK! Result"' (2007) SCRIPT-ed 42 p161

Gillian Black 'Beverley-Smith, Ohly and Lucas-Schloetter: Privacy, Property and Personality: Civil Law Perspectives on Commercial Appropriation' (2007) Modern Law Review Vol 70 pp167 - 170

Gillian Black 'Book Review of "Producers and Consumers in E-Commerce Law", by John Dickie' (2006) International Journal of Law and Information Technology 250-252

Gillian Black 'WS Karoulias SA v The Drambuie Liqueur Company Ltd - Analysis' (2006) Edinburgh Law Review Vol 10 pp 132-140

Gillian Black 'Recent Case Law - Scottish Case Reports' (2006) European Review of Private Law 2 (239-281)

Gillian Black 'Recent Case Law - Scottish Case Reports' (2005) European Review of Private Law 6 889-934

Gillian Black 'Recent case law - Scottish case reports' (2005) European Review of Private Law 4-2005 553-592

Gillian Black 'The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005' (2005) Scots Law Times 183

Gillian Black 'Database Rights and Wrongs' (2004) Scots Law Times 147

Papers and Presentations

Gillian Black 'Contract Formation and Non-Performance: A Scots Law Perspective' presented at The European Law of Obligations at a Turning Point, Münster, Germany, 2012

Gillian Black 'Execution in Counterpart: Some Common Law Considerations' presented at SLC Seminar on Execution in Counterpart, University of Edinburgh, 2012

Gillian Black 'The Dignitarian Rationale for a Right of Publicity' presented at University of Stirling Staff Seminar Series 2011, Stirling, 2011

Gillian Black 'Data Protection and Devolution' presented at ICO Data Protection Officer Conference, Manchester, 2011

Gillian Black 'Superinjunctions - Scotching the myths' presented at Scottish Privacy Forum, Stirling, 2011

Gillian Black 'Beyond Copyright: Contract and Commerce' presented at Can Canada Learn Anything From Europe? European Perspectives on Copyright Law in the Information Era., Ottawa, 2011

Gillian Black 'Asserting the Right to Privacy' presented at Festival of Politics, Holyrood, Edinburgh, 2010

Gillian Black 'Formation of Contract: Consensus and Intention' presented at The Role of Consent in Contract Law: Principles and Practice, Edinburgh, 2009

Gillian Black 'Publicity Rights: Exploring Justifications' presented at University of Glasgow Staff Seminar Series 2009-10, Glasgow, 2009

Gillian Black 'Publicity Rights and Data Protection' presented at Meeting of the Assistant Information Commissioners, Edinburgh, 2009

Gillian Black 'Applying data protection: what can we learn from celebrity privacy cases?' presented at Data Protection: Understanding Responsibilities, Edinburgh, 2009

Gillian Black 'Publicity Rights in the UK: Where next for celebrities?' presented at Fordham Intellectual Property Conference, Fordham University, New York, 2008

Gillian Black 'A Right of Publicity for Scots Law?' presented at Scottish Law Research Conference, Edinburgh, 2008

Gillian Black 'Commercialisation of Image' presented at Questions of Sports - What are the Legal Rights and Wrongs?, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, 2008

Gillian Black 'The Evolution of Property and Celebrity Persona' presented at GikII Workshop, Edinburgh, 2006

Gillian Black 'Contract Formation: Some Problems with Theory and Practice' presented at SLS Annual Conference, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2005

Gillian Black 'Experience Hendrix v PPX Enterprises: A New Experience in Contract Damages?' presented at Scottish Universities Law Faculties Conference, Pitlochry, 2004