Dr Rhonda Wheate

Senior Teaching Fellow


Personal statement

Dr Rhonda Wheate has dual qualifications in Science (University Medal for chemistry, Hons Class I) and Law (Hons Class I). Building upon this, Rhonda's PhD research examined how well real juries in criminal trials comprehend scientific evidence. Her later research has focused on expert evidence; forensic science; judicial, legal & juror comprehension; and more recently, on Clinical Legal Education. Rhonda is the Director of the Clinical LLB at the Law School, as well as supervising Hons, Masters and PhD students in areas related to the above research.


'Life experience' and juror bias in criminal trials
Wheate Rhonda
The Young grandfather : a new approach to the reliability of expert evidence in Scottish criminal cases or business as usual?
Nicolson Donald, Wheate Rhonda
Juridical Review Vol 2020, pp. 111-152 (2020)
The importance of DNA evidence to juries in criminal trials
Wheate Rhonda
International Journal of Evidence and Proof Vol 14, pp. 129–145 (2010)
A tale of two approaches - the NAS report and the Law Commission consultation paper on forensic science
Wheate Rhonda M, Jamieson Allan
International Commentary on Evidence Vol 7 (2009)
Australian forensic scientists : a view from the witness box
Wheate Rhonda
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences Vol 40, pp. 123-146 (2008)
Australian juries and scientific evidence
Wheate Rhonda
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences Vol 38, pp. 75-84 (2006)

More publications

Professional activities

BBC Scotland Radio Sunday Morning Interview on Jury Selection
Socio-Legal Studies Association (External organisation)
Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology (External organisation)
Law and Society Association (External organisation)
Society of Legal Scholars Annual conference 2020
The regulation of DNA collection and retention for use in criminal investigations in Kuwait

More professional activities


Goffman meets Popper in the Criminal Courts
Wheate, Rhonda (Principal Investigator)
HaSS COVID-19 Student Project Fund awarded to supervise a research assistant student (Calum Harris) for 10 hours research on Erving Goffman's "Frame Analysis" and Karl Popper's "Scientific Method", building a multi-disciplinary literature database to interrogate why sub-standard scientific evidence (forensic science) is permitted in criminal trials in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and NZ.
19-Jan-2020 - 19-Jan-2021
Thai Judiciary Visit 2019
Wheate, Rhonda (Principal Investigator)
I provided a seminar in Criminal Law and Jury Trials to 35 senior members of the Thai judiciary, who were visiting Strathclyde for an academic programme on Scots Law.
14-Jan-2019 - 27-Jan-2019
Public Confidence and Partnership in Policing
Wheate, Rhonda (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 26-Jan-2018
The Clients and Cases of the Strathclyde Law Clinic 2003-2017: Who is Accessing Justice?
Wheate, Rhonda (Principal Investigator)
This competitive funding was awarded through the Research Internship programme at Strathclyde, 2017-2018, for 8 weeks of fulltime research. This project involved supervision of an UG student over a summer project. The research revealed crucial data about the nature of Strathclyde Law Clinic clients, cases and casework, and highlighted shortcomings in the case management system with important implications for Clinic management, strategy, and Data Protection compliance. The work was disseminated through a poster, pamphlet, and reports to the Law Clinic Executive Committee, and has impacted on the way case data is handled, stored and analysed by the Law Clinic.
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
Expert witness - McLaren & Others v HMA - criminal appeal
Wheate, Rhonda (Principal Investigator)
I was instructed as an expert witness in McLaren and Ors v HMA, a criminal appeal from the longest ever trial in Scottish history (320+ days of evidence, including vast amounts of complex fraud expert evidence). I was approached on the basis of my expertise and research on juries, and my reputation from the many CPD courses I have delivered to legal practitioners over the past decade on juries and the presentation of complex evidence. I scrutinised the trial and trial evidence, delivered a number of briefing papers to counsel, and attended consultations with counsel and case agents. (2017-18)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018

More projects