Michael spent his entire career teaching social policy at the University of Edinburgh, retiring as Professor of Socio-Legal Studies in 2008 when he was appointed Emeritus Professor. As time went on, his research interests focused on the interface between public law and social policy. He was an active social researcher and, over the years, carried out socio-legal research in four discrete policy areas: social security, educational policy, penal policy and consumer credit/consumer indebtedness.
He has had a long-standing interest in, and has published extensively on, administrative justice. Michael’s most recent book, published in 2018, was a study of benefit sanctions in the UK entitled Cruel, Unusual or Degrading Treatment?
For several years, he was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Socio-Legal-Studies Association (SLSA) and Chair of its Scottish Committee. He was awarded SLSA’s Prize for Contributions to the Socio-Legal Community in 2018. He sat as a Member of the Scottish Committee of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) and continues to be a Member of the Administrative Justice Committee of the Law Society of Scotland.
Michael has had a long-standing interest in and involvement with social security and sat as a lay member of a Social Security Appeal Tribunal for 20 years. He is currently a member of the Steering Group for a CPAG project on ‘Access to Justice in Universal Credit’.