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Personal profile

Personal Statement

My main research interests and specialisation lie in European, national and comparative labour law. I teach EU law, labour law and Scots contract law, and have previously also taught commercial law and delict (tort).

I am currently working on an historical labour law project, funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant, which examines British influences on German codetermination by looking at the interactions between exiled German trade unionists and British trade unions during World War Two. In this context, I am interested in German and British labour movements' understandings of industrial democracy and codetermination during the 20th century.

I have published widely in the field of (European) labour law including a monograph entitled New Labour Laws in Old Member States (CUP, 2017) which compared Austrian, German, British, Irish and Swedish trade union responses to increased labour migration following the EU's Eastern Enlargements. The book was reviewed in the (2020) Edinburgh Law Review, the (2018) 47(2) Industrial Law Journal and (2018) 43(3) European Law Review where it described as ‘socio-legal EU scholarship of the very best sort […] a rich and theoretically informed novel account of the law in practice; and inspiration for future legal developments.’

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 a case and comment editor for the Juridical Review (the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities) and an editor of Green's Employment Law Bulletin. I am on the Research Committe of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the management board of the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE) and am one of the lead academics in the Civil Society Brexit Project, funded by the Legal Education Foundation until 2022, 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. Prior to that, I was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.

I received my Ph.D in Law from the University of Edinburgh. 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.


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labor law Social Sciences
European Law Social Sciences
trade union Social Sciences
EU Social Sciences
worker Social Sciences
Labor and Law Social Sciences
Law Social Sciences
court of justice Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2017 2020

Civil Society and Brexit

Busby, N. & ZAHN, R.


Project: Research

Research Output 2008 2020

The politics of European labour law

Zahn, R., 7 Jan 2020, (Accepted/In press) Research Handbook on the Politics of EU Law. Cardwell, P. J. & Granger, M-P. (eds.). Cheltenham, U.K., 20 p. (Research Handbooks in Law and Politics).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

labor law
European Law
individual law
1 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
court of justice
trade union


Brian Bercusson Award

Rebecca Zahn (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

labor law
European Law

Activities 2014 2016

  • 4 Participation in conference
  • 4 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation
  • 1 Invited talk

Industrial Law Society Annual Conference

Rebecca Zahn (Invited speaker)
17 Sep 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

R. Zahn, ‘After the referendum and before Brexit… Where now for workers’ rights in the EU?’, European Law Blog, 28 June 2016 available at http://europeanlawblog.eu/?p=3248.

Rebecca Zahn (Blogger)
28 Jun 2016

Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation