Global Health Academy

Professor Graeme Laurie

Graeme Laurie is Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh and Founding Director of the JK Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law. He is the holder of a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award and Principal Investigator for a project entitled Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation. This is a £1 million, five-year, interdisciplinary project, from October 2014.

Graeme previously held the role of PI and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law - also known as SCRIPT, until he took up the position of Director of Research in the University’s School of Law.



Graeme’s research interests include the role of law in promoting and regulating science, medicine and technology. He has been involved in numerous successful collaborative bids with groups of law and non-law colleagues, including clinicians, geneticists and medical social scientists, to the total value of £15 million.

The focus of these collaborative efforts has always been legal and ethical dimensions of medical and scientific developments, with particular emphasis on the responsible promotion of medical science.

In addition to the Wellcome Trust Liminal Spaces Project, Graeme Laurie is currently involved in three other externally-funded initiatives:

  • 10-funder consortium on data linkage for health research: Farr Institute (2013-2018)
  • EU Commission's Innovative Medicines Initiative on stem cell banking: EBiSC (2014-2017)
  • ESRC Administrative Data Research Centres: ADRC Scotland (2013-2016)

Together with Edinburgh colleague Dr Sarah Chan, Graeme Laurie is a member of a new Global Academy initiative on medico-legal and ethical issues in South America. A starter project is examining reproductive rights and was launched at the University of Diego Portales, Santiago Chile, in November 2015. This network will also extend and deepen Professor collaborations in Argentina, notably with Dr Fabiana Arzuaga and through the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

In policy terms, Graeme Laurie was the Chair of the permanent UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council from 2006-2010 and Chair of the Privacy Advisory Committee in Scotland from 2005-2013.

He served as the Founding President of the European Association of Health Law from 2008-2013, and was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee, both 2009-2015.

He served as a member of the Royal Society Working Group on Science as an Open Enterprise (2011-12), and the Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Timely Access to Health and Social Data for Health Research and Health System Innovation (2014-2015). He is currently the UK representative on the Council of Europe Expert Group on the revision of Recommendation 2006(4) on research on biological materials of human origin (2012-present).

Graeme Laurie is a member of the editorial teams of the European Journal of Health Law, Medical Law International, Law, Innovation & Technology, and the SCRIPT Centre's own online journal SCRIPT-ed.

Graeme is also Chair of the UK Organising Committee for the 13th World Congress of the International Association of Bioethics, to be held in Edinburgh in June 2016. The theme of the Congress is Individuals, Public Interests and Public Goods: What is the Contribution of Bioethics?  The IAB2016 event has a particular focus on early career researchers and art+ethics. More information is available here:



Fundamental Issues in Medical Jurisprudence (Honours and Masters)

Contemporary Issues in Medical Jurisprudence (Honours and Masters)

Programme Director for the LLM in Medical Law and Ethics


Recent publications


Contact details

Prof Graeme Laurie

Tel: +44 (0)131-650-2020



Professor Graeme Laurie