Postgraduate Research Conference in Honour of Professor Norma Dawson: 11 July

Norma Dawson CBE is Emeritus Professor of Law at the Queen’s University of Belfast. Since 2018 she has been an honorary Professor in the School of Law, notably engaging with the research students in legal history. She served as Dean of Faculty at Queen’s from 1994-1997, having previously been head of the department of commercial and property law. From 2003-09 she was Vice-President of the Irish Legal History Society and its President from 2009-12. She was awarded the Society’s gold medal in 2022.

Her interests also encompass property law and intellectual property law (especially trade mark law). Indeed, she innovated by introducing Intellectual Property in the curriculum at Queen’s in the early 1980s. She has authored books on trade mark law, business tenancies and the legal history of treasure. She was awarded a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship for 2005-2006 to pursue research on legal history. She advised the Northern Ireland Assembly on charity law reform (1985) and the NI Law Reform Advisory Committee on reform of the law of business tenancies (1994).

In 2017, she was appointed CBE in the Birthday Honours List for services to legal education and the development of the legal profession in Northern Ireland, where she had been appointed an Honorary Bencher of the Inn of Court in 2016.


Marking the award to her of the degree of LL.D. honoris causa the Law School of the University of Edinburgh is hosting a conference in her honour, where she will speak as well as a number of research students. The agenda is as follows:

10:00am – 10:15am: Welcome (Tea, coffee, biscuits)

10:15am – 10:45am: Presentation & Questions: Huw Sherrard,

“Revocable & Redeemable Always”: Trade Marks and Scotland’s Law of Arms (1933-1953)

10:45am – 11:15am: Presentation & Questions: Lisa Cowan,

“An Analysis of Judicial Responsibility: From the Brehons to the Auld Lawes”

11:15am – 11:30am: Break

11:30am – 12:00pm: Presentation & Questions: León Carmona Fontaine,

“The Doctrine of Simulation in Scotland: Historical and Comparative Notes”

12:00pm – 1:00pm:   Lunch (Cold Buffet, Soft Drinks)

1:00pm – 1:30pm:     Presentation by Professor Norma Dawson,

“Legal Perspectives on the Corbridge Lanx in the Georgian and Edwardian eras –

1:30pm – 2:00pm: Discussion and Conclusion

Further details may be found here