Professor Adelyn Wilson

Head Of School



Personal statement

Professor Adelyn Wilson is the Head of Strathclyde Law School and a Professor of Law.

She joined Strathclyde in July 2023 from the University of Aberdeen, where she was a Professor of Law and the Dean for International Stakeholder Engagement with a portfolio in international student recruitment on a pan-institutional basis. In that capacity, she led various initiatives, including: introducing a governance and approvals framework for decision-making on commission and discounting arrangements; revising approval processes for new and renewed international partnerships; revising governance structures for the anchor partnership in the University's International Study Centre; strategies for institutional student scholarships, student recruitment post-Brexit and the student-focused response to the war in Ukraine; the English language testing policy; changes to the academic year structure on the student recruitment side; and short and long-term student population growth modelling projects.

Her research interests span medical law, legal history, and private and public law. Her work has appeared in various leading publications, and she has presented her research in ten countries. She is Deputy Editor of the Edinburgh Law Review, and was formerly an Academic Fellow of the Scottish Parliament and advised the European Scrutiny Committee of the UK Parliament on Retained EU Law and parliamentary scrutiny during and after Brexit, an editor of Comparative Legal History, and a trustee or council member of five intellectual charities. She has appeared on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, STV Scotland Tonight, BBC Radio North East and Northsound One News, and has advised BBC News Reality Check. Her research and funded networks have been supported by Horizon 2020/Marie Curie, the British Council, the Bibliographical Society, and other organisations.

Adelyn has taught legal history, medical law, commercial law, across the breadth of private law and on interdisciplinary and skills-based courses. She has been an external examiner for three UK universities, an appeals assessor for a Norwegian university, and an external consultant to design a QA framework for ABA Accreditation for a US university. She has taught for partner institutions internationally in the USA, Norway, China, Qatar and India. She won Aberdeen’s Excellence Award for Best PGR Supervisor, and was nominated for Best UG Lecturer, Best UG Supervisor and Most Inspiring Lecturer.

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Research Interests


ARC Simpson and ALM Wilson, Scottish Legal History: Volume 1: 1000-1707 (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)


Edited books

ARC Simpson, SC Styles, E West and ALM Wilson (eds), Continuity, Change and Pragmatism in the Law: Essays in Memory of Professor Angelo Forte (Aberdeen University Press, 2016)


Book chapters

“Notaries and advocates in early modern Aberdeen”, in J Armstrong and E Frankot (eds), Culture of Law in Urban Northern Europe: Scotland and its Neighbours, c.1350-c.1700 (Routledge, 2020) 267-283

S Dropuljic and ALM Wilson, “Elections and local governance in early modern Aberdeen”, in M Godfrey (ed), Miscellanry VIII (Stair Society annual publications series vol 68, 2020) 231-263

“Men of law and legal networks in Aberdeen, principally in 1600-1650”, in M Lobban and I Williams (eds), Networks and Connections: Papers of the British Legal History Conference (Cambridge University Press, 2020) 33-59

“The nature and sources of Scots law”, in G Black (ed), Business Law in Scotland (W Green, 2019) 1-22

“The ‘authentick practique bookes’ of Alexander Spalding”, in ARC Simpson et al (eds), Continuity, Change and Pragmatism in the Law: Essays in Memory of Professor Angelo Forte (Aberdeen University Press, 2016) 175-236

“The textual tradition of Stair’s Institutions, with reference to the title 'Of Liberty and Servitude'”, in HL MacQueen (ed), Miscellany VII (Stair Society annual publications series vol 62, 2015) 1-124


Scottish Parliament briefing papers

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit Statutory Instruments: Identifying the challenges”, SPICe briefing SB 21-53 (19 August 2021), available via HTML or pdf

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit Statutory Instruments: Impact on the devolved settlement and future policy direction”, SPICe briefing SB 21-52 (18 August 2021), available via HTML or pdf

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit Statutory Instruments: Powers and parliamentary processes”, SPICe briefing SB 21-45 (8 August 2021), available via HTML or pdf


Journal articles

"Compiling the Scottish ‘practick’: the method of Morison’s Dictionary" (2023) 44:2 Journal of Legal History 159-189

“The Health and Care Act 2022: inserting telemedicine into the Abortion Act 1967” (2023) 31:1 Medical Law Review 158-166

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Legislating for a post-Brexit Scotland: Scottish parliamentary scrutiny of UK Statutory Instruments on retained EU law” (2023) 27:1 Edinburgh Law Review 34-63

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Jasim for judicial review: decision-maker discretion and quality of process in making delegated legislation” (2023) 27:1 Edinburgh Law Review 104-113

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “UK abortion law: Private Members' Bills, devolution and the role of the courts” (2019) 82:1 Modern Law Review 71-104

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Challenging home abortion in Scotland: Society for the Protection of Unborn Children v Scottish Ministers” (2019) 23:1 Edinburgh Law Review 103-110

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Brexit, the revocation of Article 50, and the path not taken: Wightman and Others for Judicial Review against the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union”(2018) 22:3 Edinburgh Law Review 417-422

“Legal practice and legal institutions in seventeenth-century Aberdeen, as witnessed in the lives of Thomas Nicolson of Cockburnspath and his associates” (2018) 9:1 Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies 93-128

“The Elchies manuscript and the method of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington” (2018) 62:1 Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research 95-145

“The transmission and use of the collected legal decisions of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Scotland” (2018) 19:3 The Library 325-359

“Engaging school pupils in university study to inform degree intention” (2013) 47:2 The Law Teacher 215-233

“Practicks in Scotland’s interregnum” (2012) Juridical Review 319-352

“Stair and the Inleydinge of Grotius” (2010) 14:2 Edinburgh Law Review 259-268

“Stair, Mackenzie and risk in sale in seventeenth century Scotland” (2009) 15:1 Fundamina: A Journal of Legal History 168-180


Online analyses

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Revoking Article 50 after the ECJ's ruling”, The UK in a Changing Europe (11 December 2018)

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Seeking and implementing a referral on revocability of Article 50 following Wightman”, UK Constitutional Law Association (26 September 2018)

RB Taylor and ALM Wilson, “Outer House arguments over lawfulness of abortion treatment at home”, Scottish Legal News (18 May 2018), reprinted University of Aberdeen School of Law blog (22 May 2018)


Book reviews

“Justice and Society in the Highlands of Scotland: Strathspey and the Regality of Grant (c.1690–1758)” (2022) 10:2 Comparative Legal History 219-223

“Ideas of Equity, by Daniel J Carr” (2018) 22:2 Edinburgh Law Review 314-315

“An Institute of the Law of Scotland, by John Erskine with a new introduction by Kenneth Reid” (2015) 19:3 Edinburgh Law Review 429-430

“The Roman Law of Obligations, edited by T A J McGinn” (2014) 64:1 Classical Review 254-255

“Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, edited by Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings” (2013) 1:1 Comparative Legal History 149-153

“The Community of the College of Justice: Edinburgh and the Court of Session, 1687-1808, by John Finlay” (2013) 17:2 Edinburgh Law Review 271-272

“Principles of Equity, by Henry Home, Lord Kames with a new introduction by Andreas Rahmatian” (2012) Juridical Review 353-354

“Law and Opinion in Scotland during the Seventeenth Century, by J D Ford” (2008) 12:3 Edinburgh Law Review 499-501


Conference reports

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2019” (2020) 41:1 Journal of Legal History 78-81

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2018” (2019) 40:1 Journal of Legal History 69-71

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2017” (2018) 39:1 Journal of Legal History 88-91

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2016” (2017) 38:1 Journal of Legal History 80-83

“Scottish Legal History Group Report 2015” (2016) 37:1 Journal of Legal History 72-74


Knowledge Exchange

Times Higher Education training webinar, "Creating greater equity, access and employability through digital assessment in the UK", 27 October 2022

STV Scotland Tonight, episode “Challenging the law: Should abortion up until birth be allowed after a Down's syndrome diagnosis?”, 7 October 2021

BBC Antiques Roadshow, invited expert, series 41, episode “Crathes Castle 1”

F Inch et al, “Discover: Old Aberdeen” historical walking tour (Apple app, 2016)

F Inch et al, “Discover: Old Aberdeen” historical walking tour (Android app, 2016)

J Armstrong et al, The Aberdeen Burgh Records Database (2014)

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Professor Adelyn Wilson
Head Of School

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