Law research

The Law School has a strong reputation for excellence in research: staff are committed to producing high quality publications, which impact on legal scholarship and outside academia. Students benefit directly from that expertise in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and in PhD supervision.

infographic: 1st in Scotland

1st in Scotland

for research publications in law

REF 2014

Research with impact

The Grade Point Average measuring the overall quality of the Law School’s research outputs in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) was ranked first for law in Scotland (the REF is the official UK-wide system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, and it takes place approximately every five years). The 2014 REF also determined that 65% of our research publications were either world leading or internationally excellent, 30% were recognised internationally and 5% were recognised nationally. Our research impact case studies, which showcase the impact that our research has outside academia, were found to provide evidence of very considerable or considerable impact in terms of reach and significance in relation to law-making and policy-making.

Encouraging excellence

The Stirling Law School seeks to foster excellent legal research by staff without any prescription as to subject area or methodology and to encourage and support colleagues to develop their scholarship to the very best of their abilities. Research by staff therefore is both socio-legal and doctrinal, and a range of different methodologies and philosophies are utilised. Much of the work which is done is library-based, although a number of colleagues conduct (mainly qualitative) empirical research. Our aim is to maximise research quality, impact beyond academia and funding. Research is centred around a number of clusters, reflecting staff expertise: Private Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Public Law, Competition Law, Intellectual Property and Legal Philosophy. 

A wealth of knowledge

Our staff research and publish in a number of areas, including:

  • Arbitration
  • Child Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Competition Law
  • Employment Law
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • European Law
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Human Rights
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law and Religion
  • Legal and Political Philosophy
  • Public Law
  • Sports Law
  • Transitional Justice

Globally active

Law staff are also involved in a number of research networks and groups including:

  • Alexander Von Humboldt Research Excellence Network
  • American Society of International Law Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group
  • Association for Competition Law
  • Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy
  • College Sports Research Institute
  • European Society of International Law Interest Group on International Human Rights Law
  • Family Law Academic Network Scotland
  • International Society of Family Law
  • Law and Religion Network
  • Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research
  • Scottish Centre for Legal Research Methods
  • Scottish Institute for Policing Research
  • Stirling Environment and Energy Network
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Implementation Project
  • University Association for Contemporary European Studies

Research opportunities

If you would like to discuss your research ideas in Law please contact Dr Hong Yin-Lu on