Mr Malcolm Combe

Senior Lecturer

Law

Contact

Personal statement

Malcolm joined the School of Law in December 2019. Prior to that, he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen (which he joined in March 2011), and before that he was a solicitor in private practice in a Scottish law firm. Whilst in practice, he specialised in capital projects/infrastructure, and spent eight months on secondment to the investment arm of a FTSE 100 company. He also gained experience in commercial property, rural property, and banking. He qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 2008 and in England and Wales in 2009.

As an academic Malcolm's work has tended to have a property law focus, with particular interests being land law reform, public access to land, and landlord and tenant law. He also has an interest in access to justice and clinical legal education.

Malcolm acts as the School's dedicated, research-active Communications Director, a role that includes the curation of content for the Strathclyde Law Blog.

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Area of Expertise

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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Teaching

Property law, land law (including land reform), commercial law, legal and professional skills, clinicial legal education, and access to justice.

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Professional Activities

Statute Law Review (Journal)
Peer reviewer
2024
Scottish Law Commission (External organisation)
Advisor
10/8/2022
Right to roam: ‘There’s no such thing as trespass’ and six other Scottish access myths busted
Recipient
24/3/2022
Leases and Licences in Scots Law – An Historical-Doctrinal Analysis
External Examiner
13/1/2022
How Can Law Clinics Adapt to Tackle Climate Change?
Participant
3/11/2021
Scottish Land Fund (External organisation)
Advisor
1/7/2021

More professional activities

Projects

Carbon Offsetting and Communities: co-developing alternative place-based voluntary offsets in Scotland (£19,860)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator) Combe, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Roberts, Jen (Co-investigator) Davidson, Magnus (Co-investigator) Anderson, Roxanne (Co-investigator) Haggett, Claire (Co-investigator)
Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) offer a means of offsetting carbon emissions, by funding projects that deliver equivalent carbon emissions reductions elsewhere. These are commonly natural capital “removal” offsets that sequester carbon, such as afforestation or peatland restoration project.

The sector is growing very quickly and the recent adoption of Article 6 at COP26 delivered a rulebook for carbon offsetting, which is likely to further accelerate this marketplace. Scotland has already seen major natural capital investments led by institutional investors, corporations and charitable trust, who are often referred to – albeit controversially - as “Green Lairds”. High profile examples include investments from BrewDog, Shell and Aviva. Despite its growing popularity, it is unclear whether VCM projects have provided Scottish communities with much direct benefit or control.

To address this, this Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded project will deliver a series of events between researchers and practitioners that explore how VCMs are impacting Scottish communities and how they could be re-designed to maximize place-based, community benefits. The project will improve our understanding of the:

1. Distribution, scale and nature of current natural capital VCMs in Scotland;
2. Impact natural capital VCMs are having on communities;
3. Alternative VCM designs to deliver place-based community benefit and social justice;
4. Routes to co-develop and implement new VCMs in partnership with communities; and
5. Policy, legal and market conditions necessary for their adoption.

The project aims to initiate an informed, evidence-based national discussion about how best to design and implement carbon offsets, in a way that supports a net-zero, Just Transition.
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2023
Scotland’s Land Reform Futures
Combe, Malcolm (Researcher)
The project ‘Scotland’s Land Reform Futures’ will support Scottish Government policy development regarding land reform, community land ownership and engagement in land use decision-making, as well as increase understanding of the role of land ownership and land reform in achieving net zero emissions and reversing biodiversity decline in Scotland. The project will build knowledge of Scottish land reform processes and outcomes that can contribute to wider global land issues requiring urgent attention. It will seek to advance social theory on community empowerment, social justice, and the potential for progressive property rights in Scotland. The research team comprises researchers from the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College. It is part of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme 2022-2027.
29-Jan-2022
(UN)EARTHING NEW PATHWAYS FOR A JUSTICE TRANSITION: CULTIVATING HOPE AND FOOD ON CONTESTED TERRAINS IN SCOTLAND, AMAZON AND THE ARCTIC
Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Combe, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Shapovalova, Daria (Co-investigator)
The programme brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Law, Geography, Sociology of Work and Political Economy with leading figures from crofting, smallholding and indigenous communities in Scotland, the Amazon and Arctic.

This project aims to collectively produce and share both ancestral and new academic knowledge across a nexus that is critical to a just transition: the globalised financialisation of land for both the carbon and green economy, smallholder and community access to land, and sustainable production of food. These dimensions come to ground, literally, in arable land that has been an increasingly prized destination for corporate finance, with subsequent rising land prices and a deepening of contestation between commodity and food production. The programme is attentive to new policy instruments in Scotland including land reform, transparency and local empowerment and the plural ways in which other communities negotiate tensions between land asset capture for speculation, monocultures and energy forms on one hand; and rural or forest based livelihoods on the other.

The programme hinges on a hopeful dialogue across these frontiers in order to i) unearth commonality in values, experiences and aspirations for socially and ecologically committed cultivation of land; ii) investigate legal instruments within and across borders for their realisation; iii) make recommendations for effective policy implementation in Scotland.
01-Jan-2022 - 03-Jan-2022
(UN)EARTHING NEW PATHWAYS FOR A JUSTICE TRANSITION: CULTIVATING HOPE AND FOOD ON CONTESTED TERRAINS IN SCOTLAND, AMAZON AND THE ARCTIC
Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Combe, Malcolm (Co-investigator)
The programme brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Law, Geography, Sociology of Work and Political Economy with leading figures from crofting, smallholding and indigenous communities in Scotland, the Amazon and Arctic.

This project aims to collectively produce and share both ancestral and new academic knowledge across a nexus that is critical to a just transition: the globalised financialisation of land for both the carbon and green economy, smallholder and community access to land, and sustainable production of food. These dimensions come to ground, literally, in arable land that has been an increasingly prized destination for corporate finance, with subsequent rising land prices and a deepening of contestation between commodity and food production. The programme is attentive to new policy instruments in Scotland including land reform, transparency and local empowerment and the plural ways in which other communities negotiate tensions between land asset capture for speculation, monocultures and energy forms on one hand; and rural or forest based livelihoods on the other.

The programme hinges on a hopeful dialogue across these frontiers in order to i) unearth commonality in values, experiences and aspirations for socially and ecologically committed cultivation of land; ii) investigate legal instruments within and across borders for their realisation; iii) make recommendations for effective policy implementation in Scotland.
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2022
Land and Human Rights Advisory Forum
Combe, Malcolm (Academic)
The Land and Human Rights Advisory Forum (LAHRAF) is an expert forum that discusses the relationship between property rights and wider economic, social, and cultural rights.

The Scottish Land Commission set up the forum through a partnership with the University of Strathclyde to explore how human rights can be a facilitator for progressing land reform in Scotland.

The LAHRAF brings together leading legal thinkers with expertise in land, property and human rights, from academia and practice, to provide independent, impartial advice to the Commission on the human rights implications of policy proposals and ideas.
28-Jan-2021
Creative Landscape Futures: Making Decisions with the Arts and Humanities
Combe, Malcolm (Researcher) Vergunst, Jo, Lee (Co-investigator) Bevan, Anne (Co-investigator)
Creative Landscape Futures: Making Decisions with the Arts and Humanities (2020-22)

As part of a wider AHRC RCUK programme on landscape decision-making, this research network is exploring the ways that research in the arts and humanities can contribute to how decisions are made about landscape in rural Scotland. It involves a range of network partners and stakeholders.
25-Jan-2019

More projects

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Contact

Mr Malcolm Combe
Senior Lecturer
Law

Email: malcolm.combe@strath.ac.uk
Tel: Unlisted