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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined the Law School as a lecturer in 1999, from the University of Paisley, where I had been teaching since 1997, having studied at Glasgow University (LLB, 1st class hons 1988; PhD 2004) and McGill University, Montreal, Canada (LLM 1994).  I worked for Dundas & Wilson CS, from 1989 until 1993, first as a trainee then as a qualified solicitor.  I have been a Reader since 2013. I teach primarily in the area of Criminal Law and this, together with childhood and crime, also constitutes my main research interest.

I am currently the Deputy Head of the Law School, a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College, the Chair of the Law Society of Scotland’s Board of Examiners and a member of the Executive Governance Group of the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice.  From September 2013 until August 2015  I was the Associate Dean (Postgraduate Research) and the Head of the Graduate School for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. I was also a member of the children’s panel for the City of Glasgow from 1996 until 2006.

I have recently completed a Scottish Government–funded project on the Role of the Safeguarder in the Children’s Hearings System and I am currently working on a Carnegie Trust-funded project on Decision-Making in relation to Jointly Reported Children.


Research Interests

My research interests are focussed in the areas of children who offend and in criminal law.  I have worked extensively on the age of criminal responsibility and on aspects of the Scottish children’s hearings system.  I have a particular interest in the criminal capacity of the child and in the difficulty for law in dealing with child-criminals – individuals who are, simultaneously, vulnerable and in need of protection as children and, also, offenders.  The relationship between concepts of childhood and criminal law is also important in this context.  I have a monograph in these areas: Childhood and Crime (Dundee University Press: 2007) and I have recently published a piece in a special edition of Youth Justice on the age of criminal responsibility.

In criminal law, I have a general interest in all areas of Scots Criminal Law with a focus on homicide.  I have published on the partial defence of provocation and the mens rea of murder  I am currently working on a second edition of Scots Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis (1st ed: Dundee University Press, 2009) with Professor Pamela Ferguson of the University of Dundee.

Teaching Interests

My main teaching interest is in Criminal Law which I have taught at all levels (pass degree; honours and masters).  I have also recently created and developed an LLM/MSc module in Childhood and Crime.  I have extensive experience of dissertation supervision at honours, masters and PhD level.  In 2009, Claire received a teaching excellence certificate from the Strathclyde Students’ Union.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Glasgow

Master of Laws, McGill University

Bachelor of Laws, University of Glasgow


  • criminal law
  • childhood
  • age of criminal responsibility
  • homicide
  • children's hearings system
  • criminal capacity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Claire McDiarmid is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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criminal law Social Sciences
age of criminal responsibility Social Sciences
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homicide Social Sciences
offense Social Sciences
provocation Social Sciences
edition Social Sciences
sexual offense Social Sciences

Projects 2014 2018

Research Output 1996 2019

Children as perpetrators of crime

McDiarmid, C., 15 Jan 2019, Oxford Bibliographies in Chilldhood Studies. Montgomery, H. (ed.). New Yorik: Oxford University Press, (Oxford Bibliographies).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access

Killings short of murder: culpable homicide in Scots law

McDiarmid, C., 7 Sep 2018, Homicide in Criminal Law: A Research Companion. Reed, A., Bohlander, M., Wake, N., Engleby, E. & Adams, V. (eds.). London, p. 21-36 16 p. (Substantive Issues in Criminal Law).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



How consent is constructed in case reports of rape : an analysis of judicial discourse

Author: Forbes, J. S., 1 May 2017

Supervisor: McDiarmid, C. (Supervisor) & (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

The assessment of juvenile offenders : learning lessons for Saudi Arabia from a contextual comparison with Scotland

Author: Alateeq, S. M. S., 1 Oct 2012

Supervisor: McDiarmid, C. (Supervisor) & Nellis, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2011 2014

  • 3 Participation in conference
  • 2 Examination

contemporary childhoods conference: Scotland's Children: Possible Futures?

Claire McDiarmid (Speaker)
5 Sep 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Gerald Gordon Seminar on Crimina

Claire McDiarmid (Invited speaker)
12 Jun 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference