Professor John Paterson

Professor John Paterson
LLB(Hons), DipLP (Aberdeen), LLM (Edinburgh), PhD (European University Institute)

Chair in Law

Professor John Paterson
Professor John Paterson

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273888
fax +44 (0)1224 272442
The University of Aberdeen Taylor Building, Room C33


Professor Paterson trained as a solicitor in the Office of the Solicitor to the Secretary of State for Scotland before pursuing an academic career. After studying at the EUI, Florence, Italy, he was a Research Assistant at the Centre de Philosophie du Droit, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, where he worked principally on the Governance Project with the Forward Studies Unit of the European Commission. He was Senior Lecturer and then Reader at the University of Westminster between 1998 and 2004 when he joined the University of Aberdeen as a Reader. He was appointed Professor of Law in August 2011. He was Acting Head of School 2011-12 and Vice Principal for Internationalisation 2016-18. He is a co-founder of the Centre for Energy Law and directs Aberdeen's involvement in the North Sea Energy Law Programme.

His research has covered systems theory, the regulation of risk, governance in the EU, corporate governance and energy law. He has been involved in a number of international projects both in research and teaching. He has provided specialist training in oil and gas law and corporate governance for the corporate sector, expert advice in international arbitration, and consultancy to international organisations. He is series editor (together with Professor Julian Webb) of the Law, Science and Society series published by Routledge-Cavendish.

Further Info

PhD Supervision Interests

Prof. Paterson is interested in supervising research students working in the following areas: corporate governance, legal theory and energy law.



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  • Paterson, JB 2006, A note on georisk, sustainable development and law. in A Ismail-Zadeh (ed.), Recent Geodynamics, Georisk and Sustainable Development in the Black Sea to Caspian Sea Region: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Recent ... Sea Region. vol. 825, AIP Conference Proceedings, no. 825, American Institute of Physics, New York, NY, USA, pp. 67-78.
  • Paterson, JB 2006, Reflecting on Reflexive Law. in M King & C Thornhill (eds), Luhmann on Politics and Law: Critical Appraisals and Applications . Onati International Series in Law & Society, Hart Publishing, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 13-35.
  • Paterson, JB 2004, Context, Comparison and Social Capital: the role of oil and gas law in the fulfilment of Kazakhstan's promise. in J Paterson, M Suleimenov & I Bantekas (eds), Oil and Gas Law in Kazakhstan: National and International Perspectives. International Energy & Resources Law and Policy Series, vol. 20, Kluwer Law International , The Hague, Netherlands, pp. 25-50.
  • Paterson, JB 2003, Science for risk reduction and sustainable development: the role of law. in T Beer & A Ismail-Zadeh (eds), Risk Science and Sustainability. NATO Science Series:II Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, vol. 112, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. [Online] DOI:
  • Paterson, JB 2003, The Company Law Review in the UK and the Question of Scope: Theoretical Concerns, Practical Constraints and Possible New Directions. in J Lenoble & R Cobbaut (eds), Corporate Governance: An Institutional Approach . Kluwer Law International , The Hague, Netherlands, pp. 141-184.
  • Paterson, JB 2003, 'Trans-science, Trans-law and Proceduralization', Social and Legal Studies, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 525-545. [Online] DOI:
  • Paterson, JB 2002, Truth or dare: expertise and risk governance. in Better Integration of Radiation Protection in Modern Society: Workshop Proceedings, Villigen, Switzerland, 23-25 January, 2001 . Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, France, pp. 43-52.
  • Paterson, JB & Lebessis, N 2001, Developing new modes of governance. in EC, O De Schutter, N Lebessis & J Paterson (eds), Governance in the European Union: Cahiers of the Forward Studies Unit. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, pp. 259-294.
  • De Schutter, O, Lebessis, N & Paterson, JB (eds) 2001, Governance in the European Union. Cahiers of the Forward Studies Unit, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxemburg.
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