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Prof Richard Whitecross

Post Nominals MA (Hons), LLB, LLM, MSc, MSc (Research), PhD, FRAI, FRAS, PFHEA
Biography I am Professor of Law and Head of Subject. I am a member of the Business School Core Executive. I was the Business School Research Degrees lead between June 2020 and December 2022, as well as the University lead for the Professional Doctorate. I was a member of the University Research Degrees Committee between 2017 and 2022. I was a member of the Business School Research Integrity Committee between 2014 - 2017 and a member of the University Research Integrity Committee, 2015 - 2017. I am a member of the a number of other University and Business School committees.

A qualified lawyer, I was the academic lead on the Scottish Government and Law Society of Scotland Trauma Informed Working Group, a member of the Cross Party Working Group on Male Violence against Women and Girls, and became Convener of the Committee of Heads of Law Schools Scotland in July 2022. Appointed as a Law Society of Scotland examiner for Scots Private Law and Obligations in 2017, I became Convener of the Board of Examiners in April 2021. In July 2022, I was elected to the Executive of the Committee for the Heads of UK Law Schools.

I have a strong record of research on law, legal practice and access to justice in Scotland, the UK and internationally, and am experienced in knowledge exchange and building strong research-practitioner relationships. In addition to organising fifteen conferences, colloquiums and workshops, I have been on the international steering committee for two major conferences on Law and Buddhism. I have delivered invited keynote /plenary presentations at, amongst others, the University of Seville, the Baldy Centre for Law and Society, SUNY (Buffalo) and the St Anthony's College, Oxford. In addition to academic publications and reports, I have written for The Conversation, Policy Forum (Australia), and Asian Survey (Stanford). The BBC, the New York Times and others, have cited my research.

I am co-investigator in a major Scottish Government funded project examining criminal and civil proceedings involving domestic abuse. This research builds on a series of research studies on child contact, civil proceedings and domestic abuse in Scotland funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University. I am a member of a range of external committees focusing on human rights and gender violence. I have held a number of research awards from the Carnegie Trust, ESRC, Scottish Executive and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. I am a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, and a peer reviewer for UKRI and the Carnegie Trust.

Before I became Head of Law, I was the Learning, Teaching Lead for Accounting, Finance and Law, Programme Leader for the DBA (Home), and lead on the development of the Professional Doctorate. I am actively involved in doctoral training and in parallel to developing the Professional Doctorate framework for the university I collaborated with Dr Grainne Barkess (RIE) in the design, development and approval of a new Pg. Cert Researcher Skills.

Prior to joining Edinburgh Napier University in July 2012, I held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. I was then a fixed term lecturer in Social Anthropology, before holding an ESRC Research Fellowship in Socio-Legal Studies. As a Senior Researcher in Justice Analytical Services, the Scottish Government I led on a range of civil and criminal research to support policy development and professional practice. My ESRC funded PhD research was a ground breaking ethnography of legal transformation in Bhutan for which I was received the Royal Anthropological Institute Sutasoma Award. Before returning to university, I was a practising lawyer with commercial experience working in Edinburgh and London.
Research Interests My research interests centre on intersections between civil justice, human rights and other policy areas such as children and young people, e.g. the right to family life and the impact of domestic abuse. I have conducted research on the relationship between legal decision-making; legal attitudes towards and understandings of domestic abuse; legal education; access to justice; and the use of case management in family actions.

In addition, I research professional practice in contemporary law offices; the role and use of technology in legal practice; the impact on professional practice and policy development of the implementation of international human rights conventions, e.g UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

I am interested in building on my research on domestic abuse and contact, judicial and legal professionals education and training, public confidence in the justice system and the role of technology in providing access to legal advice. I welcome applications from prospective PhD students interested in these areas of law, policy and practice.
Teaching and Learning Access to Justice
Child and Family Law and Policy
Civil (formal and non-formal) Dispute resolution
Comparative Law
Human rights
Socio-legal studies