Chioma Dibia

Thesis title: Racism and the Reform of Mental Health Laws in England and Wales


Chioma is a second-year PhD student in the School of Law. Her research provides a socio-legal analysis of how racism shapes the way the Mental Health Act 1983 operates in relation to Black people with mental disorders. Although her current research focuses on mental health law, she is broadly interested in understanding how social, political and economic factors shape and are shaped by the law. She is supervised by Professor Anne-Maree Farrell and Dr Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, and is a recipient of the Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship.

Prior to undertaking her PhD, Chioma worked actively in legal and policy development in the medical law area in Nigeria. She has also worked as a research assistant on a project on anti-racism and anti-colonialism in bioethics at the University of Edinburgh. She currently tutors on the Medical Ethics unit of the Social and Ethical Aspects of Medicine (SEAM) course for first-year medical students.


Chioma holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) degree from Babcock University, Nigeria and a Master of Laws in Medical Law and Ethics (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh. She is qualified to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and is a Graduate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Chioma is a lay representative on the NHS Scotland Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care. She is also a volunteer at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, where she supports the charity by organising the forum on bioethics for members of the Scottish parliament and interested members of the public.

Undergraduate teaching

SEAM Unit 2 Medical Ethics (Tutor)

Research summary

My current research interests include:

  • Medical Law and Bioethics
  • Mental Health Law
  • Racial Disparities in Healthcare
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Intersectionality
  • Socio-Legal Studies

Affiliated research centres

Conference details

'Racism and the White Paper on Reforming the Mental Health Act 1983: An Examination of the Impact of the Proposed Changes to the Detention Criteria on Black People' delivered at the Postgraduate Bioethics Conference (PGBC) 2023.