Professor Adelyn Wilson

Professor Adelyn Wilson
Professor Adelyn Wilson
Professor Adelyn Wilson

LLB (Hons), PGCert, MBA, PhD, FSA Scot, FHEA

Personal Chair, Dean for International Stakeholder Engagement



Adelyn is the University's Dean for International Stakeholder Engagement, working with the Vice Principal for Global Engagement. In this capacity, she works with external partners and institutional stakeholders as well as internal colleagues to improve the University's strategic approach to international student recruitment.

As a Professor of Law, she teaches abortion law, legal history, commercial law and skills courses. She has been an external examiner for three universities in the UK, an appeals assessor for a Norwegian university, and an external consultant on ABA accreditation frameworks for a US university. She has previously taught for various partner institutions internationally, in the USA, Norway, China, Qatar and India. Please see the 'Teaching' tab above for full details.

Her research interests include Scottish legal history, private and public law, and the law of abortion. Her work has appeared in various leading publications, and she has presented her research in ten countries. She has been an Academic Fellow of the Scottish Parliament, and advised the European Scrutiny Committee of the UK Parliament on their report into the future of retained EU law. She has also been an editor of two journals and a trustee and/or council member of five intellectual charities. The offices she has held are listed below; please see the 'Research' tab above for her publication list and supervised research students.

She has appeared on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, STV Scotland Tonight, BBC Radio North East and Northsound 1 News, and has advised BBC News Reality Check.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Adelyn has held roles across our executive, partnership management, student recruitment, education, research and staff development portfolios.

Selected current internal roles include:

  • Co-Director, Centre for Scots Law
  • Institutional lead, British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM
  • Institutional lead, Warm Welcome Scholarship Scheme
  • Chair, International Advisory Group
  • Chair, Aberdeen-Study Group Partnership Management Board
  • Chair, Sponsor Management Subgroup
  • Senator
External Memberships

Selected current external roles include:

  • Co-Director, Scottish Universities Law Institute
  • Deputy Editor, Edinburgh Law Review
  • Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Selected previous external roles include:

  • Academic Fellow, Scottish Parliament (2020-21)
  • Chair, Aberdeen Humanities Fund (2017-21)
  • Council member, Friends of the Aberdeen University Library (2018-21)
  • Secretary and Treasurer, Scottish Legal History Group (2014-19)
  • Council member, Stair Society (2013-19)
  • Editor, Comparative Legal History (2013-18)
  • Private Law Analysis Editor, Edinburgh Law Review (2021-22)
  • Council member, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (2015-17)
  • University's '50 under 30' representative, National Centre for Universities and Business (2012-15)

Research Overview

Adelyn's research expertise extends across legal history, medical law, private law and public law. Her research and student funding networks have been supported by Horizon 2020/Marie Curie, the British Council, the Bibliographical Society, the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies, the Aberdeen Humanities Fund and other organisations.

Details of her previous publications are listed below. She is currently engaged on projects across her fields of specialism, including as co-editor of a three-volume collection on the history and development of Scots commercial law, forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press in 2024-26. 

She is also the Deputy Editor for the Edinburgh Law Review, a Co-Director of the Scottish Universities Law Institute, a Co-Director of Aberdeen's Centre for Scots Law, and a member of Aberdeen's Centre for Constitutional and Public Law. She welcomes discussions with potential contributors to the journal, SULI publications series or the work of the Centres.

She also welcomes discussions with prospective research students in her research areas. She is honoured to have previously won the University Excellence award for Best PGR supervisor, in addition to other teaching award nominations. Details of her current research students can be found below.

Past Research


ARC Simpson and ALM Wilson, Scottish Legal History: Volume 1: 1000-1707 (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)

Edited books

ARC Simpson, SC Styles, E West and ALM Wilson (eds), Continuity, Change and Pragmatism in the Law: Essays in Memory of Professor Angelo Forte (Aberdeen University Press, 2016)

Book chapters

“Notaries and advocates in early modern Aberdeen”, in J Armstrong and E Frankot (eds), Culture of Law in Urban Northern Europe: Scotland and its Neighbours, c.1350-c.1700 (Routledge, 2020) 267-283

S Dropuljic and ALM Wilson, “Elections and local governance in early modern Aberdeen”, in M Godfrey (ed), Miscellanry VIII (Stair Society annual publications series vol 68, 2020) 231-263

“Men of law and legal networks in Aberdeen, principally in 1600-1650”, in M Lobban and I Williams (eds), Networks and Connections: Papers of the British Legal History Conference (Cambridge University Press, 2020) 33-59

“The nature and sources of Scots law”, in G Black (ed), Business Law in Scotland (W Green, 2019) 1-22

“The ‘authentick practique bookes’ of Alexander Spalding”, in ARC Simpson et al (eds), Continuity, Change and Pragmatism in the Law: Essays in Memory of Professor Angelo Forte (Aberdeen University Press, 2016) 175-236

“The textual tradition of Stair’s Institutions, with reference to the title 'Of Liberty and Servitude'”, in HL MacQueen (ed), Miscellany VII (Stair Society annual publications series vol 62, 2015) 1-124

Scottish Parliament briefing papers

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit Statutory Instruments: Identifying the challenges”, SPICe briefing SB 21-53 (19 August 2021), available via HTML or pdf

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit Statutory Instruments: Impact on the devolved settlement and future policy direction”, SPICe briefing SB 21-52 (18 August 2021), available via HTML or pdf

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit Statutory Instruments: Powers and parliamentary processes”, SPICe briefing SB 21-45 (8 August 2021), available via HTML or pdf

Journal articles

“The Health and Care Act 2022: inserting telemedicine into the Abortion Act 1967” (2023) 31:1 Medical Law Review 158-166

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Legislating for a post-Brexit Scotland: Scottish parliamentary scrutiny of UK Statutory Instruments on retained EU law” (2023) 27:1 Edinburgh Law Review 34-63

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Jasim for judicial review: decision-maker discretion and quality of process in making delegated legislation” (2023) 27:1 Edinburgh Law Review 104-113

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “UK abortion law: Private Members' Bills, devolution and the role of the courts” (2019) 82:1 Modern Law Review 71-104

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Challenging home abortion in Scotland: Society for the Protection of Unborn Children v Scottish Ministers” (2019) 23:1 Edinburgh Law Review 103-110

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit, the revocation of Article 50, and the path not taken: Wightman and Others for Judicial Review against the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union”(2018) 22:3 Edinburgh Law Review 417-422

“Legal practice and legal institutions in seventeenth-century Aberdeen, as witnessed in the lives of Thomas Nicolson of Cockburnspath and his associates” (2018) 9:1 Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies 93-128

“The Elchies manuscript and the method of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington” (2018) 62:1 Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research 95-145

“The transmission and use of the collected legal decisions of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Scotland” (2018) 19:3 The Library 325-359

“Engaging school pupils in university study to inform degree intention” (2013) 47:2 The Law Teacher 215-233

“Practicks in Scotland’s interregnum” (2012) Juridical Review 319-352

“Stair and the Inleydinge of Grotius” (2010) 14:2 Edinburgh Law Review 259-268

“Stair, Mackenzie and risk in sale in seventeenth century Scotland” (2009) 15:1 Fundamina: A Journal of Legal History 168-180

Online analyses

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Revoking Article 50 after the ECJ's ruling”, The UK in a Changing Europe (11 December 2018)

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Seeking and implementing a referral on revocability of Article 50 following Wightman”, UK Constitutional Law Association (26 September 2018)

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Outer House arguments over lawfulness of abortion treatment at home”, Scottish Legal News (18 May 2018), reprinted University of Aberdeen School of Law blog (22 May 2018)

Book reviews

“Justice and Society in the Highlands of Scotland: Strathspey and the Regality of Grant (c.1690–1758)” (2022) 10:2 Comparative Legal History 219-223

“Ideas of Equity, by Daniel J Carr” (2018) 22:2 Edinburgh Law Review 314-315

“An Institute of the Law of Scotland, by John Erskine with a new introduction by Kenneth Reid” (2015) 19:3 Edinburgh Law Review 429-430

“The Roman Law of Obligations, edited by T A J McGinn” (2014) 64:1 Classical Review 254-255

“Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, edited by Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings” (2013) 1:1 Comparative Legal History 149-153

“The Community of the College of Justice: Edinburgh and the Court of Session, 1687-1808, by John Finlay” (2013) 17:2 Edinburgh Law Review 271-272

“Principles of Equity, by Henry Home, Lord Kames with a new introduction by Andreas Rahmatian” (2012) Juridical Review 353-354

“Law and Opinion in Scotland during the Seventeenth Century, by J D Ford” (2008) 12:3 Edinburgh Law Review 499-501


“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2019” (2020) 41:1 Journal of Legal History 78-81

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2018” (2019) 40:1 Journal of Legal History 69-71

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2017” (2018) 39:1 Journal of Legal History 88-91

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2016” (2017) 38:1 Journal of Legal History 80-83

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2015” (2016) 37:1 Journal of Legal History 72-74


Knowledge Exchange

Times Higher Education training webinar, "Creating greater equity, access and employability through digital assessment in the UK", 27 October 2022

STV Scotland Tonight, episode “Challenging the law: Should abortion up until birth be allowed after a Down's syndrome diagnosis?”, 7 October 2021

BBC Antiques Roadshow, invited expert, series 41, episode “Crathes Castle 1”

F Inch et al, “Discover: Old Aberdeen” historical walking tour (Apple app, 2016)

F Inch et al, “Discover: Old Aberdeen” historical walking tour (Android app, 2016)

J Armstrong et al, The Aberdeen Burgh Records Database (2014)





Teaching Responsibilities

Adelyn teaches legal history, medical law, commercial law and skills courses. She has previously taught across the breadth of private law as well as on interdisciplinary courses.

She has won the University Excellence Award for Best PGR Supervisor, and has been nominated for Best UG Lecturer, Best UG Supervisor and Most Inspiring Lecturer.

She has previously taught courses or guest lectures for various partner institutions internationally, including:

  • University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore, USA
  • University of Bergen, Norway
  • Shandong University, China
  • AFG with the University of Aberdeen, Qatar
  • Alliance University, India
  • National University of Advanced Legal Studies, India

She is currently an external examiner for the University of Edinburgh, and was formerly an external examiner for Robert Gordon University and the University of Dundee, an external appeals assessor for the University of Bergen, and an external consultant on ABA accreditation frameworks for a US university.