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Dr Rebecca ZAHN

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

My main research interests and specialisation lie in the fields of European Law and Labour Law (particularly European, national, and comparative labour law). I am particularly interested in the interaction between the EU and national level, and between different EU Member States' legal systems in the field of labour law. I have published widely in these areas including a monograph entitled New Labour Laws in Old Member States (CUP, 2017) which combines empirical work with an innovative comparative method to explore the responses of trade unions in five EU Member States to the challenges of increased migration following the recent EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007. The book was reviewed in the Industrial Law Journal (2018) 47:2 and the European Law Review.

My contribution to the field of labour and employment relations research was acknowledged in 2018 when I was a runner up of the International Labor and Employment Relations Associations’ (ILERA) Luis Aparicio Prize for emerging scholars.

I have also published doctrinal work on the contract of employment (with David Cabrelli, University of Edinburgh) which was cited with approval by Lords Hope, Wilson and Sumption in the Supreme Court decision Société Générale v Geys [2012] UKSC 63. I am currently (together with David Cabrelli) examining the relationship between domination-based conceptions of social justice and labour law.

I am on the management board of the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE) which provides legal expertise and advice on Scotland and the UK’s future position following the 'Brexit' referendum. In this context, I have published widely on the consequences of 'Brexit' for employment law. I am one of the lead academics in the Civil Society Brexit Project, funded by the Legal Education Foundation, which helps civil society organisations in Scotland to prepare for Brexit consequences for themselves or their service users.

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2015 from the University of Stirling where I held a lectureship in law from 2011 until 2015. I was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute from 2010 until 2011.

I received my Ph.D in Law from the University of Edinburgh in 2011. Prior to this I completed an LL.B. (Hons) in Law and French at the University of Edinburgh and an LL.M (Human Rights) at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2011, my PhD thesis was awarded the European Trade Union Confederation’s Brian Bercusson Award for the best PhD thesis to have been submitted in European Labour Law between 2006 and 2010.


The 'European Social Model' and the UK : from Europeanization to Anglicization
Zahn Rebecca
Historical Studies in Industrial Relations Vol 39, pp. 169-204, (2018)
Implications for equality, employment and Human Rights in Scotland
Busby Nicole, Zahn Rebecca
Bringing Human Rights Home? What's at Stake for Rights in the Incorporation of EU Law after BrexitBringing Human Rights Home? What's at Stake for Rights in the Incorporation of EU Law after Brexit, (2018)
The impact of Brexit on employment law in Scotland
Zahn Rebecca
Edinburgh Law Review Vol 22, pp. 160-165, (2018)
Revision of the posted workers' directive : a europeanisation perspective
Zahn Rebecca
Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies Vol 19, pp. 187-201, (2017)
Employment law and Brexit in Scotland
Zahn Rebecca
Greens Employment Law Bulletin Vol 142, pp. 2-4, (2017)
Studying EU Law in Scotland During and After Brexit
Busby Nicole, Zahn Rebecca

more publications

Professional activities

Industrial Law Society Annual Conference
Invited speaker
R. Zahn, ‘After the referendum and before Brexit… Where now for workers’ rights in the EU?’, European Law Blog, 28 June 2016 available at
Invited talk to the Creation of Reality Group on 'The Origins of Codetermination: Tracing the British Influence'
Shaping Future Directions in EU Labour Law
Labour Law Research Network Conference
London Labour Law Discussion Group
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Civil Society and Brexit
Busby, Nicole (Principal Investigator) ZAHN, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
This joint venture between Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS; a network of Scottish civil society organisations) and Scottish Universities Legal Network for Europe (SULNE) will deliver a programme of events, trainings, briefings, and information alerts tailored to the needs of civil society organisations in Scotland.
By bringing together the civil society contacts, networking, capacity building and collaborative approach of HRCS, with the legal and educational expertise of SULNE and its capacity for knowledge generation, this project will empower the Scottish third sector to engage with the process of the “EU (Withdrawal) Bill” at Westminster and in Scotland and the wider Brexit discussions. The advice generated will be politically neutral and unbiased. Findings from the project will be used to inform published research output. Impact of the project and related output on participating civil society organisations and on the third sector generally will be mapped and recorded as the project progresses.
Period 03-Jul-2017 - 28-Jun-2019

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