Texas A&M Global ​Programs 2018 ​Scotland Field Study Student Blog

Scotland Aberdeen LawThe Texas A&M University School of Law Global Programs May 2018 Field Study course "Scotland: Natural Resource Management and Dispute Resolution" explored European Union and international law as they apply to energy, environmental, and climate change policy issues. The​ students were able to experience dispute resolution and commercial arbitration in Scotland, the UK, and the EU. ​

The​ course offered a first-hand deep dive into the regulatory, political, and environmental issues at play in the region. Taking advantage of the Scottish location, students learned about the history and evolution of Scots Law and the present mix of legal institutions, as well as the ​legal issues and business of managing the North Sea oil and gas fields -- unique experiences ​which ​could not be replicated in the classroom.

► Learn more about the Scotland field study.

Check out the student blog posts about their experiences in Scotland:

Dunnottar Castle

Posted by Kristin Bussell Newby, J.D. '19

Scotland Donattor Castle gigem“Done-uh-tar” or “Duh-knot-er”—it’s hard to say. What isn’t a challenge? Spending a sunny afternoon in Scotland taking in the breathtaking views of the seaside castle ruins just outside of Aberdeen, in Stonehaven.

Visiting Dunnottar Castle came as a field trip at the end of our second full day in Scotland. Over our first two days, we learned much about Scottish history generally and Scottish legal history in particular. Dr. Andrew Simpson, Senior Lecturer at Aberdeen University School of Law, graciously acted not only as one of our main hosts during our entire visit but also as our personal history professor and tour guide at Dunnottar Castle. 

scotland donnottar tour Dr. Simpsonscotland dunnottar selfiePerhaps the feature of Scots Law that most intrigued the entire group was its relationship to English law and how that relationship developed over history, often understandably but sometimes in a head-scratching sort of way. Dr. Simpson’s description of the development of Scots’ law certainly gave insight into the general relationship between Scotland and England, the residual effects of which are still noticeable today. 

Donnottar tour Simpson GordonDunnottar Castle itself—along with Dr. Simpson’s wealth of knowledge to share on the site—also reminded us of the various eras of Scottish history, and the laws and societal changes that followed. Dunnottar hosted (or was invaded by, whichever!) everyone from Vikings to William Wallace to Mary Queen of Scots. The colorful and sometimes tragic stories of these times really brought the castle ruins to imaginative-life. 

As (mostly) first time visitors to the castle, we were definitely glad the invasion days were a trend of the past. The sun literally and metaphorically shone on our visit, which of course we polished off with ice cream from the modern-day food truck at the castle entrance.