Portrait of Dr Alan Mckenna

Dr Alan Mckenna

Lecturer in Law


Dr Mckenna obtained his PhD from the University of Kent in 2005, and in 2011 completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. He has previously been a visiting lecturer at City University London, Middlesex University, the University of Surrey, and Canterbury Christchurch University.

He has appeared on BBC Television News, Sky News, the BBC Watchdog programme, BBC South East News, BBC Look North and BBC South discussing issues relating to drone technology. He has also been interviewed by BBC Radio Sussex, BBC Radio Kent, BBC Radio Oxford, BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, BBC Radio Surrey, BBC Radio Devon, BBC Radio Humberside, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio WM, BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Newcastle and BBC Radio Cornwall on issues relating to drones and privacy. His drone related work has also been mentioned in articles in the Guardian, New York Times, BBC Online Website, Miami Herald, Brisbane Times, and the Sydney Morning Herald. He has also helped BBC News, the BBC Breakfast programme, and BBC Crimewatch Roadshow with drone related stories. 

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Committee in its Report on the Civil use of drones referred to evidence he had provided, and in the subsequent House of Lords debate on the Report his research was again mentioned. He has also been quoted In the House of Commons Transport Committee's Report into Operation Stack in June 2016. He was in 2016 invited to be an expert participant in a Drone Public Dialogue event organised on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Department of Transport that is being used to help develop Government drone policies. 

In 2017 he organised the very first Action Mesothelioma Day event to be held in Kent, at the Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham.

Research interests

Asbestos related issues, Information and Communication Law, International Commercial Law, New developing technologies such as Drones, and Privacy and Data Protection.


Alan teaches Undergraduates in the fields of Obligations, Contract and Tort.


  • Associate Member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. 

Member of: 

  • The European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). 
  • The Society for Computers and Law. 
  • The Society of Legal Scholars. 
  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. 
  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • Member of Kent Police’s Drone Development Board



  • Mckenna, A. (2016). Asbestos caused Lung Cancer: An issue ripe for review. Journal of Personal Injury Law.
    Following the recent decision in the case of Heneghan v Manchester Dry Docks Ltd that a claimant succeeds in an asbestos related lung cancer claim where they can show defendants materially increased the risk of lung cancer occurring, this article considers the current state of the law and availability of compensation through statutory schemes, and looks at the different approach taken by Australian courts in developing the law in this area.
  • Mckenna, A. (2015). New Research Petition. Mesothelioma UK Newsletter.
  • Mckenna, A. (2015). Research funding data highlights weak level of Mesothelioma funding. Mesothelioma UK Newsletter.
  • Mckenna, A. (2014). Drones: Not just about Data. Computers and Law [Website] 24.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). Mesothelioma ruling opens door to future claims. Solicitors Journal [Online] 156. Available at: http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/story.asp?sectioncode=3&storycode=19895&c=1&eclipse_action=getsession.
    The Supreme Court ruling in the employers' liability 'trigger' litigation brings clarity and reassurance for mesothelioma claimants, says Alan McKenna.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). Assessing PSLA damages for mesothelioma victims. Solicitors Journal [Online] 156. Available at: http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/story.asp?sectioncode=3&storycode=19833.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). The Legal Outlook in 2012 for Asbestos Claimants. British Asbestos Newsletter [Online]. Available at: http://www.britishasbestosnewsletter.org/ban85.htm.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). When a parent company may be liable in negligence for the acts of its subsidiary (Accepting responsibility). Solicitors Journal 156.
  • Mckenna, A. (2011). An overview of the legal landscape of negligently inflicted asbestos related conditions. Journal of Personal Injury Law.
  • Mckenna, A. (2007). Torts: Wilkinson v. Downton: A final curtain call for an old favourite? C v. D [2006] EWHC 166. Law Teacher [Online] 41:102-108. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2007.9959731.
    The Case of Wilkinson v. Downton has long been familiar to undergraduate law students. How long this will remain so must now be in doubt, for after years of inactivity in the English courts there has been a recent flurry of case activity in which Wilkinson has been considered. Following judgements in which its utility appeared to be diminishing, it was to make a sudden and successful re-appearance in the High Court in early 2006. However, this may only represent a final triumphant curtain call, for it seems that senior members of the English judiciary are keen to call 'time' on this old favourite.
  • Mckenna, A. (2007). Computer Waste: A Forgotten and Hidden Side to the Global Information Society. Environmental Law Review [Online] 9:116-131. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1350/enlr.2007.9.2.116.
    Whilst computer technology has radically impacted upon many facets of life, and continues almost relentlessly to do so, for several years questions have been raised about a
    particularly dark side to such technology, concerning its potential environmental implications where it is disposed of in an uncontrolled manner. This paper looks at the failure to date of the developed world to prevent the illegal movement of its hazardous computer waste to poorer regions, including the possible implications of the charitable provision of such equipment from developed to developing world, and puts forward proposals whereby hazardous computer waste can be dealt with in a manner that will help in part to ensure that developing countries can legitimately be seen as part of the digital age, and not merely a dumping ground, fed the rich world’s digital toxic scraps.
  • Mckenna, A. (2001). Playing Fair with Consumer Privacy in the Global On-line Environment. Information & Communications Technology Law [Online] 10:339-354. Available at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1360-0834&volume=10&issue=3&spage=339.
    The advent of global on-line shopping has been heralded in glowing terms for the consumer - more choice, keener prices and you don't have to leave your living room to shop. But behind such adulation, there lies a darker side to this new panacea, and without appropriate controls is a hidden intangible cost that many see as outweighing the trumpeted benefits of consumer e-commerce, that being the threat to personal data privacy due to the unprecedented potential for data collection and manipulation that are facilitated by the new medium. This paper will look behind the gloss of e-commerce, to analyse the seriousness of this threat. We will specifically consider whether this new electronic environment is such, that existing data privacy protection provisions are inadequate in meeting the challenge posed by the architecture of on-line sites and the computing power they possess. A main feature of our discussion will be a consideration of the problems created in this global environment, where jurisdictions have differing levels of privacy protection, this being specifically pertinent to the European Union and the United States, who have been involved in protracted negotiations on transborder data privacy protection due to the stronger privacy protection afforded by the EU Data Protection Directive,1 than that provided for by the United States
  • Mckenna, A. (2000). Emerging Issues Surrounding the Convergence of the Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information Technology Sectors. Information & Communications Technology Law [Online] 9:93-128. Available at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1360-0834&volume=9&issue=2&spage=93.
    This paper attempts to address issues raised by the convergence of the telecommunications, broadcasting and IT sectors. The approach taken is to provide an analysis of the path to convergence, with the assertion that the United States NII initiative was in many respects the catalyst for the whole process. The American vision of the information age is contrasted with the European Union's version, which highlights not only the strategic importance both place on the new communications world but also the differing emphasis placed on social needs in the new world. To provide a better understanding of the whole subject area a basic analysis of the sectors preconvergence is provided, with particular emphasis on the pre-convergence regulatory structures in the UK, European Union and United States. Consideration is given to the whole philosophical issue of how the converged industry should best be regulated, whether by strong regulatory controls or by competition law. This will highlight many of the tensions in this field of activity. The main thrust of the paper is that proper analysis and discussion have not so far been made in what is an area of fundamental importance for the whole of the world's population. Vital issues affected by convergence which are addressed, include social exclusion, cultural imperialism, universal service and public service broadcasting, citizenship and democracy. Without proper debate it is premised that gigantic transnational corporations will eventually control the converged industry, with national governments impotent to prevent abuse of the power such corporations will wield. The implications of this are profound, with democracy itself potentially hanging in the balance.


  • Mckenna, A. (2011). A Human Right to Participate in the Information Society. Hampton Press.

Book section

  • Mckenna, A. (2016). The Public Acceptance Challenge and Its Implications for the Developing Civil Drone Industry. In: Custers, B. ed. The Future of Drone Use: Oppotunities and Threats from Ethical and Legal Perspectives. Springer. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-132-6.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). The right to communicate - a continuing victim of historical links to the NWICO and UNESCO?. In: Frau-Meigs, D., Nicey, J., Palmer, M., Pohle, J. and Tupper, P. eds. From NWICO to WSIS: 30 Years of Communication Geopolitics. Intellect Books.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). Profiling and manipulating Human behaviour: a core contemporary privacy concern. In: Bottis, M. ed. Values and Freedoms in Modern Information Law and Ethics. Nomiki Vivliothik.

Conference or workshop item

  • Mckenna, A. (2018). The future for UK drones policy - regulation, innovation and commercial application. In: Westminster EForum. Available at: http://www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk/publication/UK-drones-policy-18.
  • Mckenna, A. (2018). Public perceptions and acceptance of drones, and the question of regulatory effectiveness. In: Cambridge Wireless Future Devices & Technologies SIG and Security Event - Drones: The Good, the Bad and the Scary.
  • Mckenna, A. (2017). A critical analysis of issues across the asbestos spectrum. In: Boyes Turner Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Study Day.
  • Mckenna, A. (2016). Media coverage of drones and strategies for improving public perception. In: Commercial UAV Show.
  • Mckenna, A. (2013). Who’s watching the watchers: A perspective on contemporary profiling. In: Kent Critical Law Conference.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). The new mesothelioma battleground - the issue of breach?. In: The Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference.
  • Mckenna, A. (2010). Is Alan McKenna a dog? Privacy issues from cyberspace. In: Privacy and the Individual Conference.

Internet publication

  • Mckenna, A. (2018). Urgent Questions for the MoD and Government to Answer Following the Disclosure of the Sea King Helicopter Asbestos Alert [article]. Available at: http://ibasecretariat.org/am-urgent-questions-for-mod-and-gov-re-disclosure-sea-king-asb-alert.php.
  • Mckenna, A. (2017). UK Government Drone Proposals [article]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/uk-government-drone-propo_b_17558482.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2016). Crucial Unanswered Questions Remain in Amazon’s Pre-Christmas UK Drone Delivery Announcement [Article]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/crucial-unanswered-questi_b_13648686.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2016). Action Mesothelioma Day - The 5000 Deaths That Go Unreported [Online newspaper]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/mesothelioma_b_10752284.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2016). Are the Danger From Drones for Manned Aircraft Exaggerated and Should We Be More Concerned Over the Use of Lasers? [Webpage]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/dangers-from-drones_b_9548168.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech&ir=UK+Tech.
  • Mckenna, A. (2016). The Eagle Has Landed - A Bald Drone Story or an Important Pointer On Drone Control? [Website]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/drone-control_b_9235896.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2015). The Public Acceptance Challenge Facing Civil Drone Use [Web]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/civil-drone-use_b_7964398.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2015). Operation Stack - A Story of Inept Governance [Website]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/operation-stack_b_7976786.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2015). The Forgotten Issue Behind an Assisted Suicide. [Website]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-mckenna/the-forgotten-issue-behind-assisted-suicide_b_8003988.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). Hacking, Raspberry Jam and the Power of PSI: On the Deeper Meaning of IP [article]. Available at: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2012/03/hacking-raspberry-jam-and-power-of-psi.html.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). ACTA and the EU - the Story so Far [Online]. Available at: http://www.infotoday.eu/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/ACTA-and-the-EU---the-story-so-far-81031.aspx.
    European Commissioner refers Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice to consider its legality.
  • Mckenna, A. (2012). The Magic Box of Facebook [Online]. Available at: http://www.infotoday.eu/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/The-magic-box-of-Facebook-80764.aspx.
    As it prepares to sell 10% of its equity, what risks and opportunities lie ahead for Facebook?
  • Mckenna, A. (2011). ’Hackgate’ - the Story so Far [Online]. Available at: http://www.infotoday.eu/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/Hackgate---the-story-so-far-76900.aspx.
  • Mckenna, A. (2011). Super Injunctions and Twitter [Online]. Available at: http://www.infotoday.eu/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/Super-injunctions-and-Twitter-75732.aspx.

Research report (external)

  • Mckenna, A. and Anestopoulou, M. (2001). Greece - Internet Rights Country Report. Association for Progressive Communications.
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