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Dr Fiona MacDonald

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Profile summary

Professional biography

Fiona joined the Open University in June 2022 as a Lecturer in Law within the Central Academic Team. She is currently involved with modules covering a range of topics, including SQE modules, Solicitors accounts, Land law, Family law, EU law, Legal research and legal study skills.

Before studying law, Fiona’s educational background was in business studies which she studied part-time. As a student with severe dyslexia her educational journey has been less than traditional, and she is passionate about education being available and accessible to all.

Having completed the law conversion course and the Bar Vocational Course, she was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple (2005); while working as a Magistrates Legal Advisor for HMCTS, she subsequently undertook the cross qualification and was admitted to the roll of solicitors (2010). She currently does not practice as a lawyer as she has focused on academic research and teaching in recent years, joining the University of South Wales to undertake her PhD and then continuing as a Lecturer in Law.

Research interests

Fiona’s LLM focused on criminology and criminal justice, in addition she has a postgraduate diploma in research law and her work has a strong socio-legal influence and she is interested in the use of social research methods within legal scholarship.

Recently Fiona’s research has been centred on children’s rights and the rights of persons with disabilities. Her PhD thesis focused on international implementation and incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (University of South Wales 2020). Her current research includes exploring children’s environmental rights under the UNCRC framework.  Her interest in children’s rights stems from working as a Magistrates’ Legal Advisor in the adult and youth criminal courts and the family courts, seeing legal interaction and decision-making around children’s lives.

She undertook research on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commissioned by Aktion Mensch, investigation implementation inferred from the UN Committee’s comments. The report is available in both German and English from the Aktion Mensch website.

Teaching interests

Fiona has experience teaching across the criminal law subject areas, including litigation, evidence, procedure, and youth justice. She also has experience teaching family law and practice, legal skills, study skills, and solicitors accounts.

She has experience supervising students’ research for undergraduate, masters and PhD level.