Ken Mackinnon
Title: Professor
First Name: Ken
Surname: Mackinnon
Position: Head of Law School
Telephone: +44 (0)1224 263914

Duties and Responsibilities

Professor Ken Mackinnon is Head of the Law School. He has taught a wide range of subjects including Jurisprudence, Legal Ethics, Tort Law, Social Security Law, Employment Law, Privacy Law, and Legal Systems.

Academic Background

After teaching at the University of Aberdeen for 12 years, he moved to New Zealand as a foundation member of the new School of Law at the University of Waikato in 1990. The first new law school in New Zealand for 100 years where they developed a modern contextual LLB curriculum, one that encouraged Maori into the legal profession. His enjoyment of the significant administrative tasks involved in setting up the school led to his studying, by distance learning, for a Master of Educational Administration at the University of New England in Australia. During 2002 and 2003, he took leave from the university and was a full time Reviewer (adjudicator) of disputed personal injury claims under the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme. He then spent a year as Head of Law at the University of Derby.

Returning to New Zealand, he became Associate Dean and Head of Law at Waikato. He continued to hear ACC cases on a part-time basis, and was appointed to the Legal Aid Review Panel.

In February 2010, he started as Head of Law in Aberdeen Business School at the Robert Gordon University.

Research Interests

He is completing work on the contribution to legal thinking made by the Scottish philosopher, David Hume. His current research relates to personal injury compensation and mechanisms for solving disputes in that area. He is part of a Scottish Government working group on no-fault compensation for medical injury.

He is interested in supervising PhD candidates whose topic relates to legal theory, legal education, accident compensation/ personal injury, tribunals, access to justice, or professional ethics.


Mackinnon, K. "The Divine Hand Slips: Medical Accidents in Godzone" Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Sydney, 2009.

Mackinnon, K. "Redefining the Facts – Marginalising the Claimant?" pp 122-138 of Creyke R (ed), Tribunals in the Common Law World (Sydney: Federation Press: 2008).

Mackinnon, K. "Regulating Legal Education – the New Zealand Model" Association of Law Teachers Conference, Plymouth, 2007.

Mackinnon, K. "The Academic as Fiduciary – more than a metaphor" (2007) 1 Canadian Legal Education Annual Review 115-140.

Mackinnon, K. "Thin Skulls, Brittle Bones and Sensitive Souls, and how New Zealand's ACC Scheme deals with them" Proceedings of the Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Hamilton, NZ, 2005.

Mackinnon, K. The Laws of New Zealand: Social Welfare (Wellington: Butterworths, 1994) (140pp) – revised edition 1998 (180pp); revised edition 2002 (178pp).

Mackinnon, K. "The 'Best Qualified' – for What? The place of affirmative action in a mission-focused New Zealand law school admissions policy" (2000) 4 Yearbook of NZ Jurisprudence 71-117.

Mackinnon, K. "Doing Away with Unemployment Benefit?" (1995) 3 Waikato Law Review 185-206.

Mackinnon, K. "Adam Smith on Delictual Liability" in Malloy, R.P. & Evensky, J. (eds) Adam Smith and the Philosophy of Law and Economics (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1994) pp 83-112.

Mackinnon, K. "Giving it all away? Thomas Reid's retreat from a natural rights justification of private property" (1993) 6, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 367-88. (see PDF below)

Mackinnon, K. "The Reasonable Man as an Impartial Spectator" in Campbell TD (ed): Law and Enlightenment in Britain (Aberdeen: AUP 1990) pp 87-101 (ch 9).

Mackinnon, K. "Thomas Reid on Justice: A Rights based Theory" in Dalgarno M and Matthews E (eds): The Philosophy of Thomas Reid (Dordrecht: Kluwer 1989) pp 455-67.

Mackinnon, K. "George Turnbull's Common Sense Jurisprudence" in Carter J and Pittock J: Aberdeen and the Enlightenment: Proceedings of Conference held at the University of Aberdeen (Aberdeen: AUP 1987) ch 11.

Mackinnon, K. "James Lorimer's Common Sense Approach to Legal Philosophy" (1987) Juridical Rev 12-23.

Mackinnon, K. "The Academic as Fiduciary: More than a Metaphor?"

Mackinnon, K. "The 'Best Qualified' – form What? The place of affirmative action in a mission-focused New Zealand law school admissions policy"

Mackinnon, K. "Giving It All Away? Thomas Reid's Retreat from a Natural Rights Justification of Private Property"