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Legal Theory

The legal theory research area is one of the teaching and research strengths of Edinburgh Law School. The research area is responsible for two of the large Ordinary classes (Critical Legal Thinking and Jurisprudence) and for a range of courses at Honours and Masters level, and have a vibrant postgraduate research community.

Old College masonry

Legal theory research at Edinburgh Law School covers a large variety of topics, including the role of law in post-state contexts, legal argumentation, general jurisprudence, and the philosophical foundations of private law, public law, criminal law, and international law.

Amalia Amaya Navarro, British Academy Global Professorship

Martin Kelly, Lecturer in Legal Theory

Chloë Kennedy, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law

Euan MacDonald, Senior Lecturer in Jurisprudence

Claudio Michelon, Professor of Philosophy of Law

Burkhard Schafer, Professor of Computational Legal Theory

Neil Walker, Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations

Research papers

Friend or Foe?: Bernard Williams and Political Constitutionalism
Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac S., (June 5, 2019). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2019/21, View paper

Journal articles

The sovereignty surplus: A rejoinder
Walker, Neil. In: International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 19, No. 1, 23.04.2021, p. 34-40. View article

Easy for you to say
O'Brien, M., Australasian Journal of Philosophy. 2021 View article

What is it to apply the law?
Duarte d’Almeida, L., Law and Philosophy. 2021. View article

The sovereignty surplus.
Walker, Neil. In: International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 18, No. 2, 04.08.2020, p. 370-428. View article

Book chapters

Group-deliberative virtues and legal epistemology
Amaya Navarro, Amalia. In: Evidential Legal Reasoning: Crossing Civil Law and Common Law Traditions. eds Jordi Ferrer Beltrán & Carmen Vázquez Cambrige University Press (2022) View chapter

Constitutional crossroads : A view from Europe
Walker, Neil. Revolutionary Constitutionalism: Law, Legitimacy, Power. ed. Richard Albert. Oxford : Hart Publishing, 2020. p. 217-238 View chapter


Virtue and natural law.
Amaya Navarro, Maria Amalia. Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory. ed. Jonathan Crowe; Constance Y. Lee. Edward Elgar, 2020. p. 267-277 (Research Handbooks in Legal Theory).
View book

New Constitutional Horizons: Towards a Pluralist Constitutional Theory
Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac, Oxford University Press (Oxford Constitutional Theory) (2022) View book

Law and Polity Project
The Law and Polity Project addresses the challenges of how the modern state polity is affected by new legal and political forms.
Visit the Law and Polity Project website

Edinburgh Centre for Legal Theory
Inaugurated in 2016, the Centre for Legal Theory promotes research collaboration between staff, students, and visitors.
Visit the Edinburgh Centre for Legal Theory website

Legal Theory Research Group
The Legal Theory Research Group organises a variety of events throughout the year, including a seminar series, work-in-progress sessions, a reading group, and a Spring workshop series.
Visit the Legal Theory Research Group website

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