Jim Murdoch joined the School of Law at Glasgow in 1979 after qualifying as a solicitor. He read law as an undergraduate at Glasgow and has an LLM from the University of California at Berkeley. He was Head of the School of Law between 1996 and 2000.
He has taught at the Universities of Mainz, Freiburg, Hamburg, Paris Ouest and Aarhus, and was a professeur stagiaire with the Directorate of Human Rights of the Council of Europe in France. He is a regular participant in Council of Europe seminar programme visits to Central and East European states and has developed a particular interest in non-judicial human rights enforcement mechanisms. He served as one of two long-term experts for the Council of Europe on combating impunity in places of detention.