Skip to main content

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

Andrew Cornford, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law

Sharon Cowen, Professor of Feminist and Queer Legal Studies

Martin Kelly, Lecturer in Legal Theory

Chloë Kennedy, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law

Cormac Mac AmlaighProfessor of Public 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

Journal articles

Ambivalence, judicial craftmanship, and the development of the law: Variations on a theme of Benjamin Cardozo
Amaya, Amalia. In: The Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, Vol. 34-1, No. 34-1, 14.06.2023, p. 1-20. View article

Law and political imagination: The perspective of Paul Kahn
Walker, Neil; Goldoni, Marco. In: German Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4, 26.06.2023, p. 619-622. View article

Sovereignty, property and climate change
Walker, Neil. In: Edinburgh Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 2, 31.05.2023, p. 129-156. View article

Edited Collections

Direito Privado, Razão e Justiça
Michelon, Claudio. 1 ed. São Paulo : Almedina, Brasil, 2023. 226 p. View Collection

Book chapters

Gardner's pluralistic virtue jurisprudence
Amaya, Amalia. From Morality to Law and Back Again: A Liber Amicorum for John Gardner. ed. / Michelle Madden Dempsey; François Tanguay-Renaud. 1. ed. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2023. p. 38-55. View Chapter

The uses of precedent in legal argument
Michelon, Claudio. Philosophical Foundations of Precedent. Ed, Timothy Endicott; Hafsteinn Dan Kristjánsson; Sebastian Lewis. Oxford University Press, 2023. p. 117-129 (Philosophical Foundations of Law). View chapter

Primary duty/secondary duty?
Michelon, Claudio. Private Law and Practical Reason: Essays on John Gardner's Private Law Theory. ed. / Haris Psarras; Sandy Steel. Oxford University Press, 2023. (Oxford Private Law Theory). View chapter

Group-deliberative virtues and legal epistemology 
Amaya , Amalia. Evidential Legal Reasoning: Crossing Civil Law and Common Law Traditions. ed. / Jordi Ferrer Beltrán; Carmen Vázquez. Cambrige University Press, 2022. p. 125-137. View chapter


New Constitutional Horizons : Towards a Pluralist Constitutional Theory  
Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac. Oxford University Press, 2022. 248 p. (Oxford Constitutional Theory). 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

Latest news

Latest events