Photo of Dr Adam McCann

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. He was also recently a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at 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 Study Abroad Academic Director for Law at Exeter 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. 

Prior to joining the University of Exeter, Adam taught law at the University of Groningen and he also taught on the University of London LL.B international programme at the University of Seychelles. His teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level includes: Criminal Law, Evidence Law, Medical Ethics and 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 Radio and Irish national radio in relation to the law on assisted suicide. 

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 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 published on EU free movement law and social justice in The European Review of Private Law; co-edited a book on law and governance theories (published by Eleven International), wrote a book chapter on immoral contracts (set to be published by Oxford University Press), and co-wrote a book chapter on fundamental rights and humaneness in EU health-care law (published with Cambridge University Press).  


Modules taught