Dr Claire McDiarmid



Personal statement

I joined the Law School as a lecturer in 1999, from the University of Paisley, where I had been teaching since 1997, having obtained degrees from Glasgow University (LLB) and McGill University, Montreal, Canada (LLM).  I worked for Dundas & Wilson CS, from 1989 until 1993, first as a trainee then as a qualified solicitor.  I have been a Reader since 2013. I teach primarily in the area of Criminal Law and this, together with childhood and crime, also constitutes my main research interest. I was a member of the children’s panel for the City of Glasgow from 1996 until 2006.  I am currently the Associate Dean (Postgraduate Research) and the Head of the Graduate School for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


Finding free agreement : the meaning of consent in sexual offences in Scots criminal law
McDiarmid Claire
ConsentSubstantive Issues in Criminal Law, (2016)
After the age of criminal responsibility : a defence for children who offend
McDiarmid Claire
Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly Vol 67, pp. 327-341, (2016)
How do they do that? Automatism, coercion, necessity and mens rea in Scots Law
McDiarmid Claire
General Defences in Criminal LawSubstantive Issues in Criminal Law, (2014)
Scots Criminal Law : A Critical Analysis
Ferguson Pamela R., McDiarmid Claire
A victory for fairness and common sense : R v Hughes
McDiarmid Claire, Ferguson Pamela
Edinburgh Law Review Vol 18, pp. 84-88, (2014)
An age of complexity : children and criminal responsibility in law
McDiarmid Claire
Youth Justice Vol 13, pp. 145-160, (2013)

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My main teaching interest is in Criminal Law which I have taught at all levels (pass degree; honours and masters).  I have also recently created and developed an LLM/MSc module in Childhood and Crime.  I have extensive experience of dissertation supervision at honours, masters and PhD level.  In 2009, Claire received a teaching excellence certificate from the Strathclyde Students’ Union.

Research interests

My research interests are focussed in the areas of children who offend and in criminal law.  I have worked extensively on the age of criminal responsibility and on aspects of the Scottish children’s hearings system.  I have a particular interest in the criminal capacity of the child and in the difficulty for law in dealing with child-criminals – individuals who are, simultaneously, vulnerable and in need of protection as children and, also, offenders.  The relationship between concepts of childhood and criminal law is also important in this context.  I have a monograph in these areas: Childhood and Crime (Dundee University Press: 2007) and I have recently published a piece in a special edition of Youth Justice on the age of criminal responsibility.

In criminal law, I have a general interest in all areas of Scots Criminal Law with a focus on homicide.  I have published on the partial defence of provocation and the mens rea of murder  I am currently working on a second edition of Scots Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis (1st ed: Dundee University Press, 2009) with Professor Pamela Ferguson of the University of Dundee.

Professional activities

contemporary childhoods conference: Scotland's Children: Possible Futures?
Central Law Training: The Criminal Law Conference - June 2014
Gerald Gordon Seminar on Crimina
Invited speaker
Examiner in Scots Criminal Law
External Examiner
External Examiner in Criminal Law
External Examiner

more professional activities


The Public Interest and the Child’s Best Interests: Jointly-Reported Children in Scotland
McDiarmid, Claire (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 31-Dec-2017
AHRC - Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland | Gavin, Mhairi
Piacentini, Laura (Principal Investigator) McDiarmid, Claire (Co-investigator) Gavin, Mhairi (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 01-Jan-2018

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