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Edinburgh Napier University Staff Members  

Professor Jill Stavert, Centre Director  

Jill is Professor of Law within the Business School with considerable expertise in mental health and incapacity law and human rights. She teaches and researches in the area where she regularly publishes and presents at conferences and seminars. She writes the bi-annual Mental Health Law Updates for the Scolag Law Journal, the Mental Capacity Law Newsletter, is Contributor and Human Rights Consultant to Older Client Law Service (Bloomsbury Press) and, with Hilary Patrick, is currently writing the second edition of Mental Health, Incapacity and the Law in Scotland (Bloomsbury Press).
She is a member of the Law Society for Scotland’s Mental Health and Disability Sub-Committee, Alzheimer Scotland’s Human Rights and Public Policy Committee, the South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee 1, and the Scottish Human Rights Commission Research Advisory Group. She has undertaken work for the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland and was a member of the core research team with the Essex Autonomy Project Three Jurisdictions project.

Selected Publications

  • 'Mental Health Law in a Global Context’, in Palgrave Handbook of Global Mental Health: Sociocultural Perspectives, eds. Drs Ross White, Ursula Read, Sumeet Jain and David Orr, Palgrave MacMillan (in press).
  • ‘Deprivation of Liberty update’ Guidance, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2015).
  • Stavert, J ‘The Exercise of Legal Capacity, Supported Decision- Making and Scotland’s Mental Health and Incapacity Legislation: Working with CRPD Challenges’, Laws, 4, 296-313; dio:103390/laws4020296 (2015).
  • Stavert, J,  ‘Deprivation of liberty and persons with incapacity: The Cheshire West Ruling’, 19(1) Edinburgh Law Review 129-134 (2015).
  • Stavert, J, ““Psychiatric Patients, Detention in Conditions of Excessive Security, and the UK Supreme Court”  - 436 Scolag Legal Journal 30 (2014)
  • Stavert, J, “Added value: using human rights to support psychiatric advance statements” 17(2) Edinburgh Law Review 210 (2013).
  • Stavert J, Deprivation of liberty: A good practice guide, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2013).
  • Stavert, J, "Deaths of psychiatric patients: Article 2 ECHR and proper investigation: a case for reform in Scotland?" 419 Scolag Legal Journal 206 (2012).
  • Patrick, H, Stavert, J and Malcolm, J, "The right to life, and to proper inquiries on death: A human rights perspective on the investigation of deaths of psychiatric patients in Scotland" 1 Juridical Review 51 (2012).
  • Stavert, J, 'Accessing and maintaining legal representation for persons with mental disorder', 393 Scolag Law Journal 143 (2010).
  • Stavert, J "Glor v Switzerland: Article 14 ECHR, disability and non-discrimination", Case comment, 14(1) Edinburgh Law Review 141 (2010).
  • Stavert, J. "Independence and effectiveness: the future of the Mental Welfare Commission", 27 Scots Law Times 161 (2009).
  • Stavert, J. "Article 14 ECHR and Glor: taking non-discrimination and disability further" 383 Scolag Law Journal 224 (2009).
  • Stavert, J."United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Possible implications for Scotland for persons with mental disorder", 47 Scottish Human Rights Journal 2 (2009).
  • Stavert, J. "Mental health, community care and human rights in Europe: still an incomplete picture?" 16 Journal of Mental Health Law 182 (2007).
  • Stavert, J. "From avoidance to acceptance: Mental health and the role of human rights in Europe" 356 Scolag Legal Journal 119 (2007).
  • Writes the bi-annual "Mental Health Law Update" for Scolag Legal Journal since 2009 and is a regular contributor to and an editor (for Scotland) of the Mental Capacity Law Newsletter.

Dr Paul Hutton

Dr Paul Hutton is Associate Professor of Therapeutic Interventions at Edinburgh Napier University. His research interests are focused on understanding the causes of psychotic symptoms, understanding impaired decision-making capacity in the context of psychosis, and developing effective interventions to reduce psychotic symptoms and improve decision-making capacity in people who have these experiences.
Paul has been involved in a number of clinical trials of interventions for psychosis, where he has taken on various roles (treatment provision, treatment evaluation, supervision), and has published a number of articles on various aspects of psychosis. He is a member of a group developing NICE guidelines on supporting decision-making for people who may lack mental capacity.

Ken Dale-Risk LLB (Hons), Dip. LP

Ken came to Edinburgh Napier University in 1997, having previously practised in the field of civil litigation, particularly in the area of personal injury. He is an honours graduate of Edinburgh University.

Research interests focus on Human Rights, and he has taken part in a study of the unmet legal needs of disabled people in Scotland. He has published a number of articles and books on human rights, and has presented papers at national and international level. His doctoral research focuses on the enforcement of International Human Rights Conventions.

Ken also currently teaches on a number of different courses in the areas of Human Rights, Criminal Law and Property Law.

Lesley-Anne Barnes Macfarlane

Lesley-Anne Barnes Macfarlane is a Lecturer in Law at Edinburgh Napier University. Her principal research and teaching interests concern Scots Private Law, Child Law, Family Law and aspects of Gender. She has a particular interest in children’s rights and the incremental assumption of capacity throughout childhood. Lesley-Anne’s former experience as a solicitor, court welfare reporter, curator ad litem and lawyer-mediator inform her current research.

I have some experience of training professionals (teachers; doctors etc.) in aspects of Child Law and practice, I give academic papers when time permits and I also write for practitioner and academic journals. Papers that might be of interest to the Centre to date include:

Selected Publications

  • 'Children and Contributory Negligence', Juridical Review, Vol 3, 2010
  • 'Dear Judge, I am writing to you because I think it's pathetic': Re A-H (Children), 2009 Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 13, 528 - 533
  • '"Moral actors in their own right": consideration of the views of children in family proceedings', Scots Law Times, 2008, 21, 139 -142
  • '"A child is, after all, a child": ascertaining the ability of children to express views in family proceedings', Scots Law Times, 2008, 18, 121-127
  • 'Gender Identity and Scottish Law: a consideration of the legal response to Transsexuality', May 2007, Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 11,162 – 186
  • 'Transsexuality and 'kidulthood': treatment and recognition', Scots Law Times, 2006, 25, 169 – 186
  • Greens Annotated Social Work Statutes, Division Head ('Children and Child Care') 2008 - 2010

Douglas Maule
Douglas Maule has expertise in succession law and law of the elderly. His research areas encompass the law of mental health and incapacity in relation to elderly people. He is interested in conducting research into advanced statements, elder abuse and succession reform.

Zhongdong Niu
Zhongdong Niu teaches media law, international economic law and employment law in Edinburgh Napier University. His recent research examines religious freedom and free speech in the workplace. He has an interest to explore equality issues in relation to the barriers to employment for disabled people from an international perspective.

Dr Richard Whitecross

Dr Richard Whitecross is a qualified lawyer and an experienced social researcher. As a practising lawyer, he acted on behalf of a number of mental health charities and more recently provided legal advice to The Loden Foundation. Before joining Edinburgh Napier in July 2012,
Richard conducted and supervised research at the Scottish Government. In particular, Richard has conducted research on tribunals, including the Additional Support Needs Tribunal. Whilst at the Scottish Government, he worked across policy teams on research to inform policy around Children and Young People, he lead and development public engagement events on developing public legal capacity, administrative justice and on child law. Latterly before leaving the Scottish Government, Richard oversaw a range of strategic analytical projects working with the Crown Office, Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Courts Service. In addition, Richard was led in the preparation and development of justice information on Equalities.

James McDougall
James McDougall lectures in Scottish Legal System, Contract, Business Law and Sports Law. He would be interested to explore mental health issues in relation to the law of contract as well as impact of mental health on the practice of sport especially in regard to discrimination.


Rebecca McGregor
Rebecca McGregor is the Centre's Research Assistant. Prior to joining the Centre she obtained an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Strathclyde. She will be assisting the Centre in a wide range of research projects and is particularly interested in the implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for Scottish mental health and incapacity law.