Dr Ilona Cairns

Dr Ilona Cairns
Dr Ilona Cairns
Dr Ilona Cairns

Senior Lecturer

Email Address
Office Address

Room 46D, Block C

Taylor Building

University of Aberdeen

AB24 3UB

School of Law


Ilona joined the School of Law as a lecturer in February 2014 after initially joining the School as an AHRC funded PhD student in 2011. She was promoted to senior lecturer in 2021.

Ilona has expertise in criminal law, evidence, family law and gender and the law and has experience teaching in these areas at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her current research focuses mainly on the regulation and reform of the law relating to sexual offences and domestic abuse. She is particularly interested in these issues from an evidential standpoint and several of her publications relate to the Scottish corroboration rule, sexual offences and domestic abuse. Ilona has recently published on the application of the Moorov doctrine in the context of proving the new Scottish offence of domestic abuse and (with Dr Isla Callander) on how this offence applies to children. 

Ilona would be open to requests to supervise students with an interest in any aspect of criminal law & justice; the law of evidence; family law and gender & the law (including feminist approaches to law).

Internal Memberships


  • Student Progress Convenor (Law)
  • Research Committee
  • Learning & Teaching Committee
  • UG Policy Committee
  • Personal tutor

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Teaching Responsibilities

Ilona has taught on the following courses at the School of Law:

  • Family Law (Ordinary)
  • Evidence (Ordinary)
  • Criminal Law (Ordinary)
  • Gender, Law and Society (Honours)
  • Criminal Law (LLM)
  • Criminal Evidence & Proof (LLM)

Ilona currently co-ordinates Family Law Ordinary, Gender, Law & Society (Hons) and Criminal Evidence and Proof (LLM). 


Page 1 of 2 Results 1 to 10 of 12

  • ‘Gold Standard' Legislation for Adults Only: Reconceptualising Children as ‘Adjoined Victims' Under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018

    Cairns, I., Callander, I.
    Social and Legal Studies, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 914–940
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Book review of Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine (eds), Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law

    Cairns, I.
    Edinburgh Law Review, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 137-139
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The Moorov Doctrine and Coercive Control: Proving a ‘course of behaviour’ under s. 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018

    Cairns, I.
    International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 396-417
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Response to Scottish Law Commission Discussion Paper on Aspects of Family Law: Cohabitation (DP No 170)

    Cairns, I., Green, T., Macpherson, A., Ross, M., Stokeld, S., West, E.
    University of Aberdeen: School of Law.
    Other Contributions: Other Contributions
  • Smith v Lees 1997 SCCR 139: Judgment

    Cairns, I., Callander, I.
    Scottish Feminist Judgments. Cowan, S., Kennedy, C., Munro, V. (eds.). Hart Publishing, pp. 39-53, 15 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • 'Access to Justice' for complainers? The pitfalls of the Scottish Government's case to abolish corroboration

    Cairns, I.
    Scottish Criminal Evidence Law. Duff, P., Ferguson, P. R. (eds.). Edinburgh University Press, pp. 41-66, 26 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • What Counts as “Domestic”?: Family Relationships and the Proposed Criminalisation of Domestic Abuse in Scotland

    Cairns, I. C. M.
    Edinburgh Law Review, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 262-268
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The Costs of (Partial) Inclusion: The Evolution, Limits and Biases of the Principal Feminist Challenges to International Law

    Cairns, I. C. M.
    Women’s Human Rights and the Elimination of Discrimination. Jänterä-Jareborg, M., Tigroudja, H. (eds.). Hague Academy of International Law
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Muslim Prison Chaplains in Canada and Britain

    Beckford, J. A., Cairns, I. C. M.
    The Sociological Review, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 36-56
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Feminising Provocation in Scotland: The Expansion Dilemma

    Cairns, I. C. M.
    Juridical Review, vol. 4
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
Show 10 | 25 | 50 | 100 results per page


Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals

Other Contributions