Derek is a Professor in Dispute Process Law, based in the School of Law. He was formerly a practising civil and criminal litigation solicitor before moving into academia in 2002. He spent ten years at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen before moving to the University of Aberdeen in June 2012.
Derek launched and leads the School's LLM Dispute Resolution programme, the first online degree programme in the School. He was, until recently, a member of the Univerity's Quality Assurance Committee and oversaw the teaching and learning provision of the School of Education.
Derek has designed, launched and led a number of successful undergraduate and postgraduate online degree programmes, including Scotland's first online LLB, an online LLM in Construction Law and Arbitration, a PgCert in Oil and Gas Law and the current LLM Dispute Resolution.
Derek also works as a part time tribunal chair on the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and on the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, Health and Education Chamber. In addition to sitting on the latter Tribual, Derek is the In-House Convener for that Chamber, dealing with regular procedural decisions, advising other tribunal members, devising and organising training for judicial members and advising the Chamber President on procedure and policy issues.
Derek has been appointed as an arbitrator, both as sole arbitrator and as chairman of an arbitral tribunal. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
He is a Mediator on the University's lnternal Mediation Team.
He has handled over 500 judicial hearings, some involving complex factual and legal issues.
Derek is an external examiner with Napier University. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
He was appointed a JAMS Weinstein International Senior Fellow in 2016.
Derek is interested in the law of evidence and in dispute resolution processes (court, tribunal, arbitration mediation, expert determination, ENE). He is also interested in the interpretation of rules and legislation. He teaches at undergraduate and Masters level in these areas. He has written books and articles and presented conference papers in his chosen areas of interest. He supervises PhD students on dispute resolution subjects. He has conducted field reserach in the areas of dispute resolution and evidence.
Derek has written books, articles and book chapters in a number of areas of his research interest including: law of evidence, arbitration, dispute resolution, court and tribunal procedure and statutory interpretation.
Derek is currently engaged on research into witness reliability and corroboration in Scottish criminal cases. He is co-authoring an updated version of Evidence: Cases and Materials for W Green and is co-authoring and editing a new SULI text entitled: Interpretation of Documents.
Derek is currently collaborating on projects with academics from the University of Edinburgh and Robert Gordon University.
Derek teaches on the following courses:
Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (UG)
Professional Arbitration Skills Course (LLM)
Dispute Resolution (DPLP)
Applied Advocacy Skills (LLM)
Legal Principles (LLM)
He is the coordinates the following UG courses:
Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution
He coordinates the following PG courses:
Dispute Resolution (joint)
Professional Arbitration Skills
Mediation Theory and Practice
Advanced Mediation Skills
International Arbitration Law
International Arbitration Practice
Professional Arbitration Skills
- Further Info
Derek works as a part time tribunal chair on the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and the Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland.
He is an external examiner with the Universities of Northumbria and Edinburgh Napier.
He is a Faculty Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CiArb), with whom he is also a Fellow.
Derek is a member of the University's Quality Enhancement Committee (QAC) and his area of responsibility within that committee is for the School of Education.
Derek launched and leads the LLM Dispute Resolution in the School of Law.
He is an Academic Line Manager in the School of Law.
He is also a member of the University Senate, as one of the QAC repersentatives on Senate.
Derek takes part in mediations as a member of the Internal Mediation Team.