Dr Michelle Donnelly

Phone number:
01786 467282
Pathfoot Building, Law and Philosophy Division, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Stirling FK9 4LA
External web page:

Michelle is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Stirling. She is interested in how the law responds to children and young people. She researches and teaches in the areas of criminal and family law. Her work mainly focuses on youth justice, child protection and children’s rights. Her PhD research examined the theory and practice Scottish children’s hearings system. As a socio-legal researcher, she adopts doctrinal and empirical research methods and has expertise in qualitative methods. She has contributed to research funded by the Scottish Government, Carnegie Trust and Economic and Social Research Council. She previously worked as a Research Assistant for the SCCJR and JUSTICE: Scotland.

Keywords: youth justice; child protection; children’s hearings; welfare; decision-making



McDiarmid, C. Barry, M. Donnelly, M. & Corson, S. (2017) The Role of the Safeguarder in the Children’s Hearings System (Edinburgh: Scottish Government).

Donnelly, M. (2015) ‘Adopting the Children of Irreproachable Parents? The Convention compatibility of the welfare ground for dispensing with parental consent to adoption’, Juridical Review, 2015(3): 215 – 243.

Donnelly, M. (2014) ‘The Supreme Court and the Welfare Ground for Dispensing with Parental Consent to Adoption’, International Family Law, 2014(June): 110 – 114.

Conference Papers:

Donnelly, M. (2016) ‘The Kilbrandon Ethos in Practice: Contradictions in Scottish Juvenile Justice Policy’, British Society of Criminology Conference, 7th July 2016.

Donnelly, M. (2016) ‘Deeds Arising from Needs: investigating the dichotomy between “offenders” and “non-offenders” in the children’s hearings system’, Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference, 14th January 2016.

Donnelly, M. (2014) ‘Investigating Reporter Decision Making in the Children’s Hearings System: Reflections on Methodology’, Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School Seminar Series, University of Strathclyde, 6th May 2014.