Dr Lesley-Anne Barnes Macfarlane
- Senior Lecturer (Law)
Lesley-Anne is a Senior Lecturer in Private Law. Her research interests lie primarily in the fields of child law, family law and children's human rights. She has published on a wide range of issues including reform of the family court system, the child’s right to be heard, the parent-child relationship and varying perceptions of childhood capacity in law. She has a particular interest in the influence of children’s rights on the development of the law in Scotland and in comparative jurisdictions.
She is currently working on a research project about children, childhood and delict (tort law), for which she has received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Her research examines the relationship between law and other disciplines regarding paradigms of childhood understanding, capacity and responsibility.
Lesley-Anne also contributes to ongoing discussion and debate about child and family law. She was commissioned by the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament to produce a report critically analysing the Bill that became the Children (Scotland) Act 2020. More recently, she gave evidence on that Act to the Parliament's Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee. Lesley-Anne was a member of the advisory group to the Scottish Law Commission on cohabitation law reform and is currently the Law Society of Scotland examiner in family law. She also provides training on aspects of child and family law to Scotland’s judiciary.
Before becoming an academic Lesley-Anne practised as a lawyer, regularly representing children and adults in court. She has been accredited as a lawyer-mediator and her experience of working as a child welfare reporter and curator ad litem in complex court proceedings informs her research. She previously taught at Edinburgh Napier University, where she was the founding director of the Centre for Child and Family Law and Policy.
Primarily (i) child law; (ii) family law; (iii) influence of children's rights on the development of Private Law in Scotland and in comparative jurisdictions; (iv) relationship between law and other disciplines.
Lesley-Anne presents her research at international academic events (e.g., University of Bergen, University of Cambridge, Stellenbosch University) and is a participant in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Implementation Project ('CRC-IP'), which evaluates implementation of the Convention in comparative contexts.
She has acted as principal investigator on several research projects and has wide-ranging experience in organising cross-disciplinary conferences and workshops.
- Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2023), Sept 2023 - Sept 2024: to fund a research project entitled ‘Children, childhood and delict’ (£51,259)
- The Clark Foundation for Legal Education (2021): family law student research internships (£3,399)
- Judicial Institute for Scotland (2020-): judicial training materials and delivery, Children (Scotland) Act 2020 and children's participation in family court cases (£1,200-)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh (2020): Research Network award, as PI, with Professor R Whitecross, Edinburgh Napier University (£19,500)
- Scottish Parliament (2019): research work/written report on Children (Scotland) Bill 2019, commissioned by Justice Committee (£4,827)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh (2018): Research Workshop award to design/host multi-disciplinary workshop series on Scots child and family law, as PI, with Professor R Whitecross, Edinburgh Napier University (£9,500)
- The Clark Foundation for Legal Education (2015), with Professor EE Sutherland, University of Stirling: funding and support for organisation of 'Convention on the Rights of the Child Implementation Project Colloquium' from the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland (£3,015)
- The Clark Foundation for Legal Education (2009): research on civil remedies for victims of school bullying (£3,750)
Lesley-Anne welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students across all areas of child and family law and children's rights and the law. She also welcomes applications from students seeking to study towards an LLM by Research.
Children’s Rights (honours): course convenor
Comparative Issues in Children's Rights (honours): course convenor
Issues of Family Law (honours): contributor
Family Law (Level 1): tutor
Obligations 1A, 1B (Level 1): tutor
Property Law (Level 2): tutor
University of Glasgow: LLB (Hons) 1st Class (Bennett Miller Prize for the most distinguished Honours graduate in Private Law)
University of Glasgow: Diploma in Legal Practice (Distinction)
University of Strathclyde: LLM (by Research)
Edinburgh Napier University: PhD
Participant in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Implementation Project (‘CRC-IP’)
Member of the International Society of Family Lawyers
Member of Society of Legal Scholars
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Qualified solicitor (non-practising) in Scotland
Law Society of Scotland Examiner in Family Law
External Examiner: Robert Gordon University Law School
International Journal of Human Rights
Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Leiden University publication