Professor Adam Tomkins
- Professor - John Millar Chair of Public Law (School of Law)
Professor Tomkins joined the law school as John Millar Professor of Public Law in 2003, having previously taught at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford (2000-03) and at King’s College London (1991-2000). He specialises in constitutional law. He has teaching and research interests both in British and in comparative constitutional law. He also writes about British constitutional history and about the history of constitutional ideas. His new book, On the Law of Speaking Freely, will be published in 2025 by Hart.
He has written five books and edited or co-edited seven collections of essays on constitutional law. Among his books are two of the leading works on the British constitution: Public Law (OUP, 2003) and British Government and the Constitution (CUP, 7th ed 2011). He has worked as a legal adviser to the House of Lords and as a constitutional adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland. He has given evidence to numerous parliamentary committees (in Westminster, Cardiff, and Holyrood). He has worked with leading think tanks in London, Edinburgh and Brussels. For two years he was a regular columnist at the Herald, and he has in the past written for the Times, the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator, the New Statesman, and the Scotsman, among others. In 2023 he was appointed as a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Scotland Committee.
Professor Tomkins has also been engaged in front-line politics. He was a member of the Smith Commission in 2014 and was thereafter elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament, where he served from 2016-21. Among other appointments in the Parliament, Adam was deputy convener of the Finance and Constitution Committee and convener of the Justice Committee.
He has lectured throughout the United Kingdom, as well as in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States.
All areas of public law, but especially constitutional law. The law of freedom of speech. Federalism, devolution, and multi-layer government. The separation of powers. The rule of law. Questions of sovereignty. National security and counter-terrorism law. Judicial review and the constitutional role of the courts. Parliament: law-making, scrutiny and accountability. Human rights law. The constitutional and administrative law of the European Union. Aspects of constitutional theory, especially liberalism, republicanism and political constitutionalism. Aspects of the history of constitutional law, especially UK constitutional law post-1600.
Tomkins, A. (2011) Parliament, human rights and counter-terrorism. In: Campbell, T., Ewing, K.D. and Tomkins, A. (eds.) The Legal Protection of Human Rights: Sceptical Essays. Oxford University Press: Oxford, pp. 13-39. ISBN 9780199606085
Tomkins, A. (2010) National security and the role of the court: a changed landscape? Law Quarterly Review, 126, 543 -567.
Tomkins, A. (2010) The Role of the Courts in the Political Constitution. University of Toronto Law Journal, 60(1), pp. 1-22. (doi: 10.3138/utlj.60.1.1)
- Kaya, Elif Busra
How much administrative power is “bearable” in a judicial review within the UK’s constitutional order in the 21st century?