Isla is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and Co-Director of the University's Centre for Scots Law.
Isla's expertise and research interests lie in criminal law, justice, evidence and procedure. Along with Professor Margaret Ross and Professor James Chalmers, Isla is a co-author of the fifth edition of Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland (Bloomsbury, 2020). Her research work has been published in a number of academic journals, and she has been a principal or co-investigator on a number of funded research projects, including by the Scottish Universities Law Institute, Clark Foundation for Legal Education and European Commission. She previously contributed to the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project, as the academic commentator on the re-written judgment in Smith v Lees. Isla is interested in comparative research, and has been a visiting scholar at University College Cork (2023), Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto (2018) and the University of Queensland (2015). Isla is an Associate Researcher of the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research.
Isla coordinates and/or teaches upon several courses relating to criminal law, justice, and evidence at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
Co-Director of the Centre for Scots Law
Treasurer and Academic Board Member, Aberdeen Humanities Fund
Elected Senator for the School of Law
- External Memberships
External Examiner, University of Edinburgh
Examiner, Board of Examiners of the Law Society of Scotland
Fellow, Higher Education Academy
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 criminal appeals and post conviction review schemes.
She would be interested in supervising research students working in any of these areas.
I am currently accepting PhDs in Law.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
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).
In 2023-2024, Isla is coordinating and/or teaching on the following courses:
LS3025 Evidence (course coordinator)
LS/LX4019 Criminal Justice Honours
LS/LX401E Gender, Law and Society Honours
Isla has previously coordinated and/or taught on the following courses:
LS5096 Issues in Criminal Justice LLM
LS/LX452K Children, Young People and Crime (course coordinator)
LS1020 Criminal Law
LS/LX451V Criminal Evidence Honours
LS551R Criminal Evidence and Proof LLM
LS1527 English Criminal Law
LS501T/LS551T Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (on campus)
LS502V/LS552X Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (online)
LS2526 Family Law
LS2533 Business Law
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‘Gold Standard' Legislation for Adults Only: Reconceptualising Children as ‘Adjoined Victims' Under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018Social and Legal Studies, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 914–940Contributions to Journals: Articles
Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in ScotlandBloomsburyBooks and Reports: Books
Smith v Lees 1997 SCCR 139: JudgmentScottish Feminist Judgments. Cowan, S., Kennedy, C., Munro, V. (eds.). Hart Publishing, pp. 39-53, 15 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Appeal Court at 20 Years: Relationship Status – It’s Complicated?Juridical Review, no. 4, pp. 287-307Contributions to Journals: Articles
Business RegulationBusiness Law in Scotland. Black, G. (ed.). 4th edition. W GreenChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Regulating Consensual Sexual Behaviour Between Older Children: The Case Against the Current Approach under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009Edinburgh Law Review, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 177-203Contributions to Journals: Articles
Protection of Abducting Mothers in Return Proceedings: Intersection between Domestic Violence and Parental Child AbductionCommissioned by European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020.Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports
Publication Review: Scottish Criminal Evidence Law: Current Developments and Future Trends by P Duff and PR FergusonJuridical Review, no. 2, pp. 146-148Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
AB v HM Advocate: Rationalising Restrictions on the Use of the "Reasonable Belief" DefenceJuridical Review, no. 3, pp. 179-185Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Post-Conviction Review: Questions of Innocence, Independence, and NecessityStetson Law Review, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 45-84Contributions to Journals: Articles
Jury Directions in Rape Trials in ScotlandEdinburgh Law Review, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 76-82Contributions to Journals: Review articles
The Challenge of “Best Evidence” in Rape Trials: The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014Edinburgh Law Review, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 279-284Contributions to Journals: Review articles
The Pursuit of Efficiency in the Reform of the Scottish Fiscal Fine: Should we Opt Out of the Conditional Offer? Part 1Scots Law Times, no. 5, pp. 37-43Contributions to Journals: Articles
The Pursuit of Efficiency in the Reform of the Scottish Fiscal Fine: Should we Opt Out of the Conditional Offer? Part 2Scots Law Times, no. 6, pp. 47-53Contributions to Journals: Articles