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Stuart Bell

Dean of the Faculty of the Social Sciences



The Dean of the Faculty supports Departments, Centres and Institutes particularly in relation to teaching, research, management, finance and human resources.

As the Dean of the Faculty for Social Sciences, I have oversight of a wide range of activities relating to learning and teaching and research developments across the Social Science Departments and related research Centres, Institutes and Inter Departmental Centres in the University. In particular, I aim to promote and develop interdisciplinary and innovative activities.

I also serve on a range of University Groups including the University Executive Board (The Board), Planning Committee, and the Planning Steering Group. I also retain an active role in York Law School where I am involved in research and learning and teaching.

Biography in Brief

I am a Barrister and originally pursued an academic career in research and learning and teaching alongside a private practice.  I have held academic posts at various universities in England and was first appointed as a Professor in 1998.  In 2007, I was fortunate enough to have been appointed as the first Chair in Law and the founding Head of the Law School at York and have subsequently spent my time working hard with others to establish York Law School.

I specialise in the regulation of environmental protection with particular interests in nature conservation and enforcement.  I also have an interest in the legal profession (particularly in relation to professional values and ethics) and legal education.

Roles and responsibilities

What is your day job?

As Dean of the Faculty I support all of the Departments, Research Centres and Inter-Departmental Centres in the Social Sciences.  In my capacity as a member of York Law School, I lead a module on Alternative Dispute Resolution for Undergraduates and Postgraduates and also supervise postgraduate students.  In research, I am a participant in a number of multi-disciplinary research projects, the latest of which is related to the legal aspects of carbon capture and storage.    

Role on The Board

I represent the interests and needs of the Social Science Departments and Centres at the University Executive Board  and generally assist in communication between the Board within the University and those Departments and Centres.  In addition I help co-ordinate teaching and research and develop strategic collaboration across Social Science Departments and with others both within and outside the University.  I also represent the University in fostering links with other institutions both nationally and internationally.

Other responsibilities

 In addition to my roles within the University I am:

  • Editor of the Environmental Law Reports
  • An Editorial Board Member of the Encyclopaedia of Environmental Law and the Journal of Planning and Environmental Law


About me

What makes me tick?

I enjoy working within a lively and challenging learning community where there is a common set of values centered around mutual respect, collegial support, informality and excellence. I am also mildly surprised to find that I have come to be fascinated by what makes a Good University ‘tick’ and I am hoping to develop that understanding in my role as Dean.

My vision for the University

Like lots of other people I believe that one of the University of York’s key strengths is a friendly and supportive environment for all who are truly engaged with learning and intellectual development.  I hope that we maintain that strength in the face of a rapidly changing external environment and that this is increasingly recognised by others both nationally and internationally.


In my academic life, the achievement of founding a new Law School at a World Class University and being able to appoint some wonderful colleagues whilst taking some bold (or risky - depending upon your viewpoint) decisions about core values, innovative approaches to learning and teaching and developing a brand new building, takes some beating.

In my personal life, sharing in bringing up four boys, including triplets, beats anything I have achieved in my academic life.

Register of interests

Register of Interests (September 2017)

  • White Rose University Press Editorial Board - Member
  • Society of Legal Scholars - Member
  • Environmental Law Reports – Editor (paid)
  • Journal of Planning and Environmental Law (Sweet & Maxwell) – Member of Editorial Board (unpaid)
  • Encyclopaedia of Environmental Law (Sweet & Maxwell) – Member of Editorial Board (unpaid)
  • Oxford University Press - author (paid)


2016-17 expenses

2015-16 expenses

Below are the travel and expenses for Professor Stuart Bell covering the period September 2015 to July 2016.

Stuart Bell expenses Sep 15 - Jan 16 (PDF , 3kb)

Stuart Bell Expenses Feb-Apr 2016 (PDF , 31kb)

Stuart Bell Expenses May - July 2016 (PDF , 1kb)

Contact details

Personal assistant