LLB, MA, PhD, DPSE, OBE
Tel: 44 (0)7817316907
I qualified as a solicitor in 1977 and was later a full-equity partner in a provincial law firm, handling a mixed caseload of transactional work and litigation, much of which was legally aided. Since then I have been actively involved in both legal practice and academia in the belief that one greatly informs the other. My main interests encompass access to justice in general and improving legal education in particular – for law students and the wider public.
I was, until relatively recently, Director of Clinical Programmes at the University of York in the UK, a law school that runs a highly innovative programme using problem-based learning at its core. Prior to that I held posts at University College Cork, University of Keele, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Universities, University of the South Pacific, University of Derby and the (then) College (now University) of Law
I am now an independent consultant and a visiting professor at Charles University and (from September 2021) a visiting professor at Edinburgh Law School. In my consultancy role I have worked for governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donor agencies, particularly the UNDP and the Soros Foundation, in many countries including Afghanistan, Australia, Iran, Nigeria, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Georgia, Turkey, and Vietnam. I have served on various national (UK/England and Wales) advisory bodies and committees including the (then) Department of Constitutional Affairs’ Task Force on Public Legal Education and the Quality Assurance Agency’s review on Benchmark Standards in Law.
I have published widely in books and per-reviewed journals, on welfare law issues, access to justice, legal skills, legal education reforms and clinical approaches to study. Recent publications include Re-thinking legal education under the civil and common law; a road map for constructive change, (ed., Routledge 2018), Experiential learning and legal education – the role of the clinic, in E. Jones and F. Cownie, Key directions in legal education: National and international perspectives, (Routledge, 2020), Public legal education: the role of law schools in building a more legally literate society, (Routledge, 2021) and Teaching migration law: theory and practice (eds., with V. Honusova and U. Stege), Routledge, forthcoming 2021/2.
I have been involved in a number of other activities over the years including company secretary to a collective and committee member/adviser to various NGOs/community groups. I remain committed to improving legal education, access to justice and to promoting legal literacy.
In my time at Edinburgh I hope to be able to assist colleagues in developing hands-on learning and teaching opportunities as well as furthering my research interests.