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Elaine Sutherland and John Grant: 19 Years of Service

Credit: Nina Johnson

Two of our distinguished faculty members, John Grant and Elaine Sutherland, retired this year. Both were awarded emeritus status for their contributions to the legal profession and to the law school. Sutherland and Grant first visited Lewis & Clark in 1983, while on their honeymoon. They returned to teach and research the following year and periodically thereafter. Since 1999, they have spent six months each year teaching at Lewis & Clark, living in their native Scotland during the remaining months.

Elaine Sutherland

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Law

Sutherland began her career in academia at the University of Edinburgh in 1980, moving to the University of Glasgow 10 years later. In 2006, she joined the University of Stirling Law School as professor of child and family law, and is still teaching there. She is consulted regularly by government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the media in Scotland.

In addition to presenting papers at national and international conferences, Sutherland is the author of over 100 articles and book chapters, as well as 10 books. In 2012, she founded the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Implementing Project (CRC-IP) to explore implementation of the UNCRC in the international and comparative contexts. To date, the CRC-IP has organized four international colloquia.

Her comparative and international interests are reflected in two of her books, both published by Cambridge University Press: The Future of Child and Family Law: International Predictions (2012) and Implementing Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Best Interests, Welfare, and Well-being (2016).

What was one of your most memorable moments at the law school?

“One of my students gave birth early in the semester and, anxious to resume her studies as quickly as possible, asked if she could bring the baby with her. Of course, I agreed—what could be more appropriate in a family law class?”

What’s next?

“I will continue to teach law in Scotland for six months each year. But, since I am on sabbatical leave for the spring semester of 2019, I am looking forward to 18 glorious months of travel; research; travel; writing the third edition of my treatise, Child and Family Law; and travel.”


John Grant

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law

Grant began his teaching career at the University of Aberdeen in 1967. He then taught at the University of Dundee and at the University of Glasgow, where he served as dean of law for eight years. During that time, Grant founded and directed the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit, analyzing and commenting on the legal aspects of the trial of the two Libyans accused of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988, and subsequently published several analyses of the trial.

Grant has acted as a consultant in legal education and in international law. He was a juvenile judge in Scotland for 10 years and was editor of Scotland’s most prestigious law journal, Juridical Review, from 1988 to 1999. Grant’s recent publications include the third edition (with J.C. Barker of Sussex Law School) of their Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, published by Oxford University Press (2009); International Law Essentials, published by Edinburgh University Press (2010); Scots Law Tales, edited by Grant and Sutherland and published by Edinburgh University Press (2010); and a successor volume, Pronounced for Doom: Early Scots Law Tales, published by Avizandum Publishing Limited (2013).

What was one of your most memorable moments at the law school?

“Returning to my office from class one evening in 2014 with a student, I became so animated by our discussion that I missed a step and broke the fifth metatarsal on my right foot—end of discussion, immediate visit to ER, and the rest of the semester mobile only with a knee scooter.”

What’s next?

“After 50 years teaching law, I am taking some time to smell the roses. I will continue with my consulting and some writing—but will only do what I absolutely want to do.”

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