Dr Graeme Cunningham

  • Lecturer in Private Law (School of Law)


Dr Graeme Cunningham joined the Law School in September 2021. 

He attained a law degree (LL.B.(Hons.) from the University of Glasgow in 2012, followed by a master’s degree by research in History and Philosophy of Law (LL.M.) from the University of Edinburgh in 2013 and a master’s degree in Classics (M.Litt.) from the University of Glasgow in 2014.  

In 2019, he was awarded a doctorate (Ph.D.) by the University of Glasgow for his thesis Law, Rhetoric and Science: Historical Narratives in Roman Law. This research was supervised by Professor Ernest Metzger and Professor Catherine Steel.  

Before joining the Law School, Dr Cunningham held positions as Lecturer in Law at Abertay University, Teaching Fellow in Roman Law at University College London, and as a visiting lecturer on the University of Manchester’s liberal arts course Understanding Rhetoric

Research interests

Dr Cunningham’s principal research interest is Roman law, especially how ideas about Roman law have impacted upon contemporary understanding of private law in Scotland and Europe. This research is conducted in three connected ways: 

The first strain of research is interested in the construction of narratives of science, progress and systematisation in nineteenth and twentieth century jurisprudence. The aim of this research is to examine why and how these narratives arose and the impact they have on the formation of contemporary law across Europe.  

The second strain of Dr Cunningham’s research examines how social, cultural and philosophical factors informed legal decision-making and juristic thought at Rome. This approach is designed to re-evaluate the ascription of scientific isolation to the methodology of lawyers at Rome. Tying into the first strain, this research aims to show that several pervasive ideas about the Roman approach to law are based on a misinterpretation of the primary sources.  

The third strain of research considers law reform in Scotland, with a view to widen discussion of the role of Roman law in the development of Scots law. 



Dr Cunningham was awarded a College of Social Sciences Scholarship by the University of Glasgow to undertake doctoral research. 


Dr Cunningham welcomes interest from prospective research students in the fields of Roman law, legal history, Scots private law and comparative private law.  


  • Obligations 1A  
  • Obligations 1B 
  • Introduction to Legal Study/Legal Skills for Graduates 
  • Property Law 
  • Property Law for Real Estate Surveyors (Urban Studies) 

Additional information


Stair Society 


Select Presentations: 

Abertay Law Research Group. November 2020. Abertay University.  

Scottish Legal History Group. September 2019.  

Société Internationale Fernand de Visscher pour l'Histoire des Droits de l'Antiquité, September 2019. University of Edinburgh.  

Principle and Pragmatism in Roman Law. September 2019. Trinity College, Cambridge.  

Justice at Glasgow, February 2019. University of Glasgow.  

Société Internationale Fernand de Visscher pour l'Histoire des Droits de l'Antiquité, September 2018, Jagiellonian University, Kraków.  

Société Internationale Fernand de Visscher pour l'Histoire des Droits de l'Antiquité, September 2017. Bologna University.  

Ancient Law in Context, January 2017. University of Edinburgh.  

Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference, January 2016. University of Edinburgh.