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Richard W Whitecross

Associate professor, Edinburgh Napier University

After completing my undergraduate degree in History, I studied Law at Edinburgh. I was admitted as a qualified lawyer in 1992 and specialised in Environmental and Planning Law. Teaching on the Diploma at Edinburgh sparked my interest in teaching. Following my LLM, a research idea lead me to study Social Anthropolgy. With an ESRC Research Studentship I undertook fieldwork in Bhutan, Nepal and West Bengal. I was awarded the RAI/Sutasoma Award 2001.

On completing my PhD in 2002 I won an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, which I held at Edinburgh University. During my fellowship I was appointed as a fixed term lecturer in Social Anthropology at Edinburgh. In 2005, I became ESRC Research Fellow in socio-legal studies and through that became interested in policymaking.

I have held a range of research awards. joined the Scottish Government Justice Analytical Service where I worked on a range of justice related research projects. I moved back to teaching at Edinburgh Napier in 2012. My research interests cover Child Law, Refugee Law, Delict, Administrative Justice, and qualitative research. I currently hold two funding awards from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In May 2017, my report on case management in family actions was published by the Scottish Civil Justice Council.

In August 2017, I was awarded funding for a pilot project on domestic abuse. In October 2017, I was appointed to lead an exciting new role to develop a professional doctorate programme across Edinburgh Napier.

I live in Scotland and am married. Two cats, no children. Love plants and being outside. Politically I tend to the centre/left. Not a monarchist. I am a practicing Buddhist. I speak and read a range of languages ( old and new, European and non-Eurpoean). I love France, Italy and Canada. But my heart belongs to Scotland, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.


  • 2017–present
    Associate professor, Edinburgh Napier
  • 2012–2017
    Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier
  • 2007–2012
    Senior Analyst, Scottish Government
  • 2005–2007
    ESRC Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • 2004–2005
    Lecturer , University of Edinburgh
  • 2003–2004
    ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • 2002–2003
    Senior tutor, University of Edinburgh
  • 1997–2002
    Tutor (Social Anthropology), University of Edinburgh
  • 1993–1998
    Tutor (Planning Law) , University of Edinburgh
  • 1994–1997
    Lecturer (Part Time) , Edinburgh Napier
  • 1992–1994
    Lawyer, W&J Burness
  • 1989–1991
    Trainee Lawyer, Boyd Jameson and Young


  • 2002 
    University of Edinburgh, PhD Legal Anthropology
  • 1998 
    University of Edinburgh , MSc (Research) Social Anthropology
  • 1997 
    University of Edinburgh, MSc (Taught) Social Anthropology
  • 1995 
    University of Edinburgh , LLM
  • 1989 
    University of Edinburgh , Dip. LLP
  • 1988 
    University of Edinburgh , LLB
  • 1986 
    University of Edinburgh , MA (Hons) History

Professional Memberships

  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Law Society of Scotland
  • Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Royal Asiatic Society
  • Royal Society of the Arts


RAI/Sutasoma Award 2001