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Public Law

The public law research area at Edinburgh Law School provides cutting-edge research and teaching in some of the most pressing issues in contemporary law and politics.

Scottish Parliament chambers

It covers a wide variety of issues, including: questions of sub-state nationalism, plurinational constitutionalism, and the constitutionality of independence and secession of states; the legal and constitutional issues emerging from societies transition from conflict, such as inclusive peace process design and the role and status of peace agreements in constitutional and international law; the regulation and administration of environmental issues including climate change law; as well as the legal and constitutional implications of suprastate governance and adjudication, especially with respect to the EU and ECHR.

It has also been a major hub of research in pressing issues facing the constitutional futures of the UK, such as the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum and the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Sanja Badanjak, Chancellor's Fellow

Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law

Elisenda Casanas Adam, Lecturer in Public Law and Human Rights

Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Senior Lecturer in Climate Law

Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, Senior Lecturer

Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory

Asanga Welikala, Lecturer in Public Law

Research Project Staff:

Juline Beaujouan, PSRP Research Associate

Devanjan BhattacharyaTrain@ed Research Fellow

Tim Epple, PSRP Research Associate

Kevin McNicholl, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kathryn Nash, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Robert Wilson, PSRP Research Associate

Laura Wise, Research Analyst

Journal articles

Peace agreements and the institutionalisation of human rights – a multi-level analysis.
Nash, Kathryn; Lacatus, Corina. In: International Journal of Human Rights , 15.11.2019. View article

The territorial constitution and the Brexit process.
Tierney, Stephen. In: Current Legal Problems, 19.09.2019. View article

The right to vote: Constitutive referendums and regional citizenship.
Stjepanović, Dejan; Tierney, Stephen. In: Ethnopolitics, Vol. 18, No. 3, 06.03.2019, p. 264-277. View article

Introducing PA-X : A new peace agreement database and dataset.
Bell, Christine; Badanjak, Sanja.
In: Journal of Peace Research, 04.03.2019. View article

Principled pragmatism and the ‘Inclusion Project’ : Implementing a gender perspective in peace agreements.
Bell, Christine; Mcnicholl, Kevin.
In: feminists@law, Vol. 9, No. 1, 01.03.2019. 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

Books chapters

The Eastminster Viceroy and the Republican Monarch : The Sri Lankan Head of State and the 2018 Constitutional Crisis in Historical Context.
Welikala, Asanga. Viceregalism: The Crown and its Representatives in Political Crises in the Post-War Commonwealth. ed.
Harshan Kumarasingham. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. View chapter

Sri Lanka. 
Welikala, Asanga. The Oxford Handbook of Constitutional Law in Asia. Oxford University Press, 2020. View chapter

Paris Agreement: Article 3.
Ghaleigh, Navraj Singh. Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation. ed.
Geert Van Calster; Leonie Reins. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020. View chapter

Just transitions for workers: When climate change met Labour Justice.
Ghaleigh, Navraj Singh. The Constitution of Social Democracy. ed.
Alan Bogg; Alison Young; Jacob Rowbottom. Hart Publishing, 2019. View chapter

The Scottish Independence Referendum: Lessons learned for the future.
Casanas Adam, Elisenda. Claims for Secession and Federalism: A Comparative Study with a Special Focus on Spain. ed. Alberto Lopez-Basaguren; Leire San-Epifanio. Springer, 2019. p. 183-202. View chapter

Who's afraid of Suprastate Constitutional Theory? Two reasons to be sceptical of the sceptics.
Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac.
Legitimacy: The State and Beyond. ed. / Wojciech Sadurski; Michael Sevel; Kevin Walton. Oxford University Press, 2019. p. 182-205. View chapter

Keith Forum on Commonwealth Constitutionalism
The Keith Forum aims to harness the reservoir of comparative ideas from the Commonwealth for current UK constitutional debates, and to benefit Commonwealth states facing similar challenges.
Visit the Keith Forum website

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

Political Settlements Research Programme
The Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) engages with political settlements to build stable institutions, reduce poverty, and minimise violence.
Visit the PSRP website

The International Legitimacy Research Project
The International Legitimacy project is an interdisciplinary project examining various dimensions of legitimacy beyond the state.
Visit the International Legitimacy website

Edinburgh Dialogues on Post-Conflict Constitution Building
Edinburgh Dialogues on Post-Conflict Consitution Building is a partnership that seeks to bring together a network of academic and professional experts to share experiences, discuss contemporary challenges, and reflect on current scholarship and policy practice. The initiative is premised on the benefits of informed constitutional comparativism, an interdisciplinary approach to constitutional substance and processes, and the mutual benefits of regular and structured engagement between scholars and practitioners of constitution building.

Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law
The Centre for Constitutional Law provides a focal-point for research in public law and constitutional theory in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Visit the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law website

Edinburgh Centre for Legal Theory
The Centre for Legal Theory combines an openness to diverse areas and styles of theoretical research with a deeply collegiate atmosphere.
Visit the Edinburgh Centre for Legal Theory website

Global Justice Academy
The Global Justice Academy is an interdisciplinary research network at the University of Edinburgh and beyond exploring global justice in its broadest sense.
Visit the Global Justice Academy website

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