Law is one of three main units within the Dundee Business School (DBS).
The Law Division has a research profile that looks both at law as an academic discipline, searching for justice, fairness, clarity and consistency across most areas of human activity, and as a means of interacting with the wider economic, political and social world. In particular, it focusses on the reconciliation of technological developments with societal norms. In this respect, Law contributes to two of Abertay University’s research themes, namely Society, Security and the Environment.
There are currently three groups of research within the Division:
The first group looks into developments in technology and the law, as evidenced in two different but connected areas. Technological developments normally require to be patented. The law relating to patents is driven by the state-of-the-art of technology and the willingness or ability of patent registers, not all of which operate to the same standards or legal precepts, to grant patents. In some countries, patents are granted which would not be permitted or accepted in others. Some countries are reluctant to accept patents connected with developments in human reproduction. The law in many countries is lagging behind recent scientific advances of assisted reproduction, throwing up difficulties in terms of succession law (and by extension taxation law), the law relating to incest and the law relating to parental rights and responsibilities.
The second group is researching into labour law. The law relating to employment depends on the tension between employers’ needs and employees’ rights, and is influenced by Human Rights Law and, at least for the time being, by European Law. These are significant areas, and with the prospect of Brexit looming, there may be pressures to deregulate laws to benefit employers, or to have different sets of employment and Human Rights laws within the different countries within the United Kingdom. Post-Brexit, the focus will shift to the changing legal relationship of the UK /Scotland with the EU in this policy area, and the responses of the UK/ Scotland to this changing situation. A particular focus will be on trafficking in human beings from a transnational, EU and UK perspective. These are concerns shared not just in the UK but elsewhere in the developed world, and international agreements and co-operation is required to minimise the potential for criminality in this area.
The final group is looking into directors’ duties within corporate law and corporate insolvency law. Recent financial scandals have been nearly always attributable to rash or self-seeking directorial decision-making. This group works in conjunction with researchers in the Division of Accounting, Finance and Economics, who are investigating poor corporate governance and its economic consequences.
This centre, which is based in the Dundee Business School (DBS) and affiliated to the Graduate School of Abertay University, aims to draw together the skills of DBS in research, practice and outreach, and to extend its compass to research activity across the university, and beyond.
Find out more about the work our researchers do and how you could join us to study for a PhD, MPhil or Masters by Research