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Dr Adam McCann

Lecturer in Law

Amory B222

Dr Adam McCann is a Lecturer in Law (Education and Research) with research interests in the relation between law, governance, and human rights. His specific research focus is on the legal framework surrounding end-of-life medical decisions in the context of broader governance and political theories. Adam holds a PhD in law (2016) from the University of Groningen and an LL.M (2010) from Utrecht University and was recently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Cambridge. In January 2017, Adam was appointed one of the editors of the European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance. He is also the Director of Admissions at Exeter Law School, Deputy Director of International and External Relations at Exeter Law School, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2018, he was awarded a Dean's Commendation for Exceptional Performance during his Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) and was nominated for University Lecturer of the Year. 

Adam's teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level includes: Criminal Law, Criminal Justice & Evidence Law, Medical Ethics & Law, Public International Law, and Public Law. Adam has also contributed to The Times Higher EducationThe ConversationThe Irish Times, and has been interviewed on BBC Television, BBC Radio, LBC Radio and Irish national radio in relation to the law on assisted dying. 

Research interests

Dr McCann's PhD thesis is entitled: "Assisted Dying in Europe: A Comparative Law and Governance Analysis of Four National and Two Supranational Systems." It is the most downloaded Exeter Law School output in the last 12 months on the open access repository (ORE), with over 6,000 downloads in total. It critically examines, by way of qualitative and quantitative analysis, the law on assisted dying in the context of broader social and political theories.

In short, it argues that public-private governance, as opposed to traditional public governance, can better serve the authoritative issuance and social efficacy demands of the law on assisted dying. Approaching the law on assisted dying - that is the law on voluntary active euthanasia and assisted suicide - from this perspective presupposes three things. First, it requires that we construct an objective and consistent normative ethical framework to determine the ideal dimension of the law. Second, it challenges us to think beyond the contractarian reflex that equates a suitable legal policy with democratic self-determination by a demos. And third, it demands that we allocate authority to reform, implement, and evaluate the law on assisted dying between public and private actors, within or beyond the state-level, in accordance with their respective capacities.

Adam's research experience extends beyond the topic of his PhD thesis. He has written on human rights and mental health, Brexit and higher education, regressive liberalism and good governance, EU free movement law and social justice, immoral contracts, co-liability for defective immovable property, and fundamental rights in EU health-care law.  




A. McCann, 'Virtual Criminal Justice and Good Governance during Covid-19', Euorpean Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 7(3) (2020) 

A. McCann, 'A human rights emergency in mental health: can 'new governance' mechanisms in the EU make a difference?', Euorpean Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 6(4) (2019) 333-338

A. McCann, 'The right to assisted suicide and the institutional limits of judicial governance', European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 6(1) (2019) 1-5

A. McCann, 'Regressive liberalism and principles of good governance',  European Journal of Comaprative Law and Governance 5(2) (2018) 115-118

A. McCann, 'Brexit, Higher Education, and Responsible Governance', European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 4(3) (2017) 205-210

Journal articles:

A. McCann, 'Ireland and the EU in 2018', Irish Yearbook of International Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2020) 161-178

A. McCann, 'The CJEU on Trial: Social Justice and Economic Mobility', European Review of Private Law 22(5) (2014) 729-767

A. McCann, 'Comapring the Law and Governance of Assisted Dying in Four European Nations', European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 2(1) (2015) 37-91

A. McCann, 'The Irish Legal Solution to the Hammock Case', European Review of Private Law 22(1) (2014) 119-129

Co-edited books: 

A. McCann, Law and Governance: When Private Actors Contribute to Public Interests (Eleven International, 2014) - co edited with Hallo de Wolf, Van Rooij, and Neerhof. 

Book chapters: 

A. McCann, 'Immoral Contracts in Ireland': in Immoral Contracts in Europe (Intersentia, forthcoming 2020)

A. McCann, 'Fundamental Rights and Humaneness in European Private Law' in: The Human Face of the European Union (Cambridge University Press, 2016)- co-written with Colombi Ciacchi

A. McCann, 'Euthanasia in England, France and the Netherlands: A Comparative Law and Governance Perspective' in: Law and Governance: When Private Actors contribute to Public Interests (Eleven International, 2014)


A. McCann, Assisted Dying in Europe: A Comparative Law and Governance Analysis of Five National and Two Supranational Systems (Forthcoming 2021)





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