Seamus Burns

Seamus Burns LLB (Hons) (QUB), MA, PG Dip F&HEd, CPLS (QUB)

Senior Lecturer in Law


Module Leader for Law and Medicine and Law of Evidence. Course Leader Medical Ethics and Law for Specialist Registrars Course. Lecturer and seminar tutor on these courses. Lecturer in Public Law and Human Rights.


In 2000 I was commissioned by the then Postgraduate Medical Dean for the South Yorkshire and Humberside Deanery, (Professor Chris Welch), to set up a Medical Ethics and Law Course for Specialist Registrars, (SpRs) on the SpR Generic Curriculum. After this successful 3 day pilot, I was then commissioned to deliver the Medical Ethics and Law Course to SpRs in the Deanery. I have been successfully delivering the Medical Ethics and Law Course since 2000, and currently deliver 5 of these 3 day courses to a range of specialist hospital physicians and surgeons.

I set up, and have organised for the past 20 years, the Annual Law and Medicine Guest Lecture Series in 1993, now in 2012/13 in its 20th year. This year a consultant in human reproductive medicine and a retired transplant surgeon delivered lectures to our students.

I set up and have been organising for the past 14 years the Annual Law of Evidence Guest Lecture Series.

Assisted Reproduction, abortion, consent, medical negligence, euthanasia, assisted suicide, persistent vegetative state, organ transplantation, allocation of resources, human rights, confession evidence, identification evidence corroboration/care warnings, hearsay evidence, burdens and standards of proof, competence and compellability, parliamentary supremacy, devolution, public order, rule of law, separation of powers.


Department Of Law and Criminology

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Medical Ethics

Law for Specialist Registrars

Law and Medicine and Law of Evidence


'The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008' Chapter 22, Pages 1-210, (81,000 words long approximately), of Current Law-Statutes Annotated, published by Sweet+ Maxwell/Thomson/Reuters in February 2009.

S. Burns, The Law of Assisted Reproduction, (Bloomsbury Professional), (2012), ISBN-978-1-84766-695-6, (618 pages), was published on 28th June 2012.

'The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill 2006 - a Legislative Trojan Horse?' (Chapter 7, Pages 123-148), in the book 'Better Regulation' (editor) Professor Stephen Weatherill, the Jacques Delors Professor of European Union Law at Oxford University, and a Member of the Law Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 Panel, published by Richard Hart, 2007

'The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2007' - Chapter 51, Pages 1-52 of Current Law-Statutes Annotated, published by Sweet+ Maxwell/Thomson/Reuters, 2007

Other activities

I have been a Committee Member of the South Yorkshire Medico-Legal Society, (SYMLS), since 2005, and was the Legal Secretary of the Society, (2008-2010) and was the Legal Vice President of SYMLS, 2010-2012). Currently I am the President of the South Yorkshire Medico-Legal Society, (2012-2013).

I am an external examiner at the University of Cumbria, (2012-present). I am one of the UK reviewers on the Review Board of the Journal of Medical Law and Ethics, (2013-present).

Postgraduate supervision

Currently I am supervising 1 PhD student on assisted reproduction on her final year.

I am supervising 3 LLB students' dissertations, all in the Law and medicine sphere.

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