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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

Luis Duarte d’Almeida, Professor of Jurisprudence

Euan MacDonald, Senior Lecturer in Jurisprudence

Claudio Michelon, Professor of Philosophy of Law

Maggie O'Brien, Lecturer in Legal Theory

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

Journal articles

The inference to the best legal explanation.
Michelon, Claudio. In: Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 22.08.2019. View article

Counterproductive constitutionalisation.
MacDonald, Euan.
In: Icon-International journal of constitutional law, Vol. 16, No. 4, moy102, 21.01.2019, p. 1232-1241. View article

Law, polity and the legacy of statehood : An introduction.
Walker, Neil; Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac; Michelon, Claudio.
In: Icon-International journal of constitutional law, Vol. 16, No. 4, 21.01.2019, p. 1148-1155. View article

Book chapters

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

A inferência à melhor explicação e a autoridade da doutrina.
Michelon, Claudio. Direito, Cultura, Método. ed.
Laura Beck Varela; Andre Rodrigues Correa; Márcia Santana Fernandes ; Guilherme Carneiro Monteiro Nitschke; Mariana Pargendler; Giovana Valentiniano Benetti. Rio de Janeiro : GZ Editora, 2019. p. 3-26. View chapter

On the legal syllogism.
Duarte d'Almeida, Luís.
Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. ed. / David Plunkett; Scott J. Shapiro; Kevin Toh. Oxford University Press, 2019. p. 335-364. 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

Edited collections

The Faces of Virtue in Law.
Amaya Navarro, Maria Amalia (Editor); Michelon, Claudio (Editor). 1 ed. London : Routledge, 2019. 144 p. View collection


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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