Dr Isla Callander

Dr Isla Callander
PhD, LLM, LLB (Hons)


Dr Isla Callander
Dr Isla Callander

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273573
The University of Aberdeen Room 46C, Block C
Taylor Building
University of Aberdeen
AB24 3UB


Academic Background

Isla joined the School of Law as a Lecturer in August 2017. Isla's expertise and research interests lie in criminal law, justice, evidence and procedure. She teaches on a numbers of courses in these areas at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is a member of the University's Centre for Scots Law.

Isla is a member of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, an Associate Researcher with the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, and a commentator on the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project. She has spent time as a visiting scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto (2018) and as a visiting researcher in the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland (2015).

Isla was previously awarded her PhD with no corrections from the University of Glasgow. She was awarded the Criminal Law and Criminalisation PhD Scholarship to undertake her PhD research, and worked under the supervision of Professor James Chalmers and Professor Fiona Leverick. Isla also holds both an LLM by Research (awarded with no corrections) and an LLB in Scots law with First Class Honours from the University of Glasgow, where she was awarded the School of Law Bates Essay Prize.


Research Interests

Isla's expertise and research interests lie in criminal law, criminal justice, criminal evidence and criminal procedure, with a particular focus upon sexual offences, youth justice and post conviction review schemes.

Isla and her colleague Dr Elizabeth Shaw are currently undertaking a project investigating the use of neuroscientific evidence by counsel for the accused in criminal cases in Scotland. This project is funded by the Clark Foundation for Legal Education. 

Along with principal investigator Dr Katarina Trimmings, Isla is a co-investigator on a major collaborative project titled 'Protection of Abducting Mothers in Return Proceedings: Intersection between Domestic Violence and Parental Child Abduction' (POAM Project). This project is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).



Teaching Responsibilities

Isla co-ordinates and/or teaches on the following courses:

LS3025 Evidence

LS/LX451V  Criminal Evidence 

LS551R Criminal Evidence and Proof LLM

LS/LX401E  Gender Law and Society

LS/LX4019 Criminal Justice

LS5096 Issues in Criminal Justice LLM

LS1527 English Criminal Law      

LS1020 Criminal Law    

LS501T/LS551T Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (on campus)

LS502V/LS552X Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (online)

Further Info

Admin Responsibilities

Personal Tutor

Level 3 Year Co-ordinator 

LLM Admissions Selector 


PGT Policy Committee 

UG Policy Committee 

Learning & Teaching Committee


  • I Callander, E Shaw and S Dropuljic, 'Neuroscience in the Scottish Criminal Courts' (Neuroscience in Criminal Cases Workshop, University of Aberdeen, 17 October 2019)
  • I Callander and E Shaw, 'The Use of Neuroscientific Evidence by the Defence in Scottish Criminal Cases' (International Academy of Law and Mental Health, 2019 XXXVI International Congress on Law and Mental Health, Rome, 25 July 2019)
  • I Callander and E Shaw, 'Neuroscientific Evidence in Scottish Criminal Cases' (Royal College of Psychiatrists - Philosophy Special Interest Group, Conference in Honour of Professor Eric Matthews, University of Aberdeen, 20 December 2018)
  • I Callander, 'Consensual Sexual Behaviour Between Adolescents: Improving the Statutory Frameworks in Scotland and England and Wales' (Panel on Sexual Offences and Offending, Socio-Legal Studies Association 2018 Annual Conference, School of Law, University of Bristol, 28 March 2018)
  • I Callander, 'The Criminalisation of Consensual Sexual Behaviour between Adolescents: Implications for Access to Sexual Health Care and Advice' (Panel on Sex, Gender and Consent, Children’s Right to Health Conference, Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health / Sussex School of Law, University of Sussex, 11 December 2017)
  • I Callander, 'Consensual Sexual Behaviour Between Adolescents: Improving the Statutory Framework in Scotland' (Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research Working Lunch Seminar / Gender Based Violence Research Forum, 21 June 2017)
  • I Callander, 'The Legal Regulation of Consensual Adolescent Sexual Activity' (University of Glasgow Criminal Law Forum, 21 April 2015)
  • I Callander, 'The Unreliability of Jury Decision-Making in Rape Trials in Scotland' (Sixth Annual Gerald Gordon Seminar on Criminal Law, University of Glasgow, 12 June 2014)