Please direct any enquiries about the activities of the Centre to the Director, Dr Andrew Simpson: 


Dr Andrew Simpson

Andrew’s research focuses on Scottish legal history and Property law. He is interested in accounts of what exactly gave law its authority or binding force in the minds of sixteenth-century Scottish jurists. Additionally, he explores the ways in which such lawyers organised legal materials to facilitate the “invention” – i.e. discovery – of the law. He has also written on aspects of the medieval laws of Scotland; this has been facilitated in part by his involvement in the “Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers” project (see here). In the future, he hopes to study in more detail the history of Scottish legal method. 

Dr Alisdair MacPherson

Alisdair’s research interests include: rights in security, insolvency law, property law, company law, corporate finance and modern legal history. His PhD thesis focused on doctrinal aspects of the floating charge security device in Scots law. Following on from this, he is now co-editing a book examining the floating charge in Scots law from various perspectives (which will include legal history chapters written by Alisdair). In addition, he is working on a project exploring floating charges and functional equivalents in comparative perspective. Alisdair is also carrying out research on the ranking of claims in corporate insolvency law and, in the future, intends to carry out empirical research in this area.

Dr Isla Callander

Isla’s research focuses on criminal law, justice and evidence. Much of her research is focused upon the law of sexual offences, and she has written upon issues such as the legal response to sexual offences committed by older children. Isla is interested in gender and the criminal law and is a commentator on the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project. She has also written on aspects of criminal law such as post-conviction review schemes. She is currently conducting research, funded by the Clark Foundation for Legal Education, on the use of neuroscientific evidence by the defence in criminal cases in Scotland with colleague Dr Elizabeth Shaw. Isla has a strong interest in researching Scots law within a comparative context, and has previously been a visiting scholar at both Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Queensland. 

Professor Peter Duff 

Professor Duff specialises in criminal justice, evidence and procedure. He has published widely in both comparative criminal justice and evidence and on Scottish domestic law in these areas. Additionally, he has been involved in many Scottish Government funded research projects designed to evaluate reforms in the area of criminal procedure, particularly those aimed at improving the efficiency of the criminal courts and the reduction of ‘churn’.

Professor Duff was a member of the McInnes Committee on Summary Criminal Justice, which sat in 2002-2003, and was also Adviser to the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament in its consideration of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. In 1999, he was appointed as one of the founding members of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates alleged miscarriages of justice, and served on this body until 2007. As such, he was involved in the Commission’s investigation of the Megrahi case (the Libyan convicted of the ‘Lockerbie’ bombing) and its referral back to the Scottish Appeal Court. More recently, he was the academic expert selected to sit upon a judge-led review of criminal procedure and evidence in Scotland, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government (‘The Carloway Review’).

Donna McKenzie Skene

Donna’s research focuses on bankruptcy and corporate insolvency law and policy. She is interested in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the law and its historical development as well as the interaction of insolvency law with other areas of law, particularly property law. Her work extends to both comparative and international aspects of the law, law reform and the development of policy. Current projects include the role of creditors in insolvency, Crown preference in insolvency, and floating charge security in the context of insolvency.