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Dr Joe Tomlinson
LLB (Hons) (Manchester), PhD (Manchester), BPTC (BPP Law School)
Senior Lecturer in Public Law
I am Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of York. I am also a member of the Academic Panel at Blackstone Chambers and an Associate Fellow of the Public Law Project. My work focuses on administrative law and justice.
I received my LL.B (Dean’s Award) and PhD (President’s Medal) from the University of Manchester and completed my bar course as Queen Mother’s Scholar (Middle Temple). Before joining the University of York, I held lectureships at King’s College London and the University of Sheffield. I have also held visiting positions at Melbourne Law School, Osgoode Hall Law School, and UCL Department of Political Science. From 2017 to 2021, I was Research Director at the Public Law Project—a national legal charity. Earlier in my career, I was a Trainee in President Baudenbacher’s Chambers at the EFTA Court and Legal Assistant to Gerard McDermott QC.
My research has been cited by the UK Supreme Court and widely relied upon in significant public interest litigation, including R (on the application of Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry and others v Advocate General for Scotland  UKSC 41, RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 52, and JCWI v The President of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)  EWHC 3103 (Admin). I also sit on the Digital Freedom Fund’s Panel of Experts.
I have been invited to give oral evidence to committees in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In 2019, I was an ESRC Parliamentary Academic Fellow, working with the Justice Committee in the House of Commons. I have worked with multiple government partners, including the Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Open Innovation Team. My research on administrative review systems (with Robert Thomas) formed the basis of a Law Commission reform project, and I sit on the Administrative Justice Council’s Academic Panel. I have also worked with many charity and private sector partners on research initiatives, including recent partnerships with Mishcon de Reya and Asylum Aid. My research has been covered widely in the press, including in The Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Independent, and WIRED.
My research focuses on administrative law and justice: administrative decision-making about people’s rights and entitlements, and how those decisions can be challenged. It explores how contemporary administrative justice systems operate in practice, often with an emphasis on policy problems or systemic issues. I am also interested in how these systems are perceived and experienced in everyday life.
My approach to administrative law and justice involves advancing data-driven and interdisciplinary approaches. I use a combination of legal and empirical (quantitative and qualitative) research methods, and I often work with colleagues from other disciplines, including psychology, political science, computer science, and social policy, as well as partners outside of the university sector (including government, charities, and practitioners).
I have written and edited numerous books and my research has appeared in leading journals, including the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Legal Studies, Public Law, and Modern Law Review. I also write frequently for non-academic audiences, seeking to raise awareness of the issues explored in my research.
I have secured over £1m in research funding and my work has been supported by funders including the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, Unbound Philanthropy, and the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.
An updated list of my publications is available via the PURE database. Selected recent publications are listed below.
• ‘Missing evidence? The administrative law duty to collect systemic data’ in J. Tomlinson and A. Carter (eds), Facts in Public Law Adjudication (Hart Bloomsbury, 2023), with Cassandra Somers-Joce
• Experiments in Automating Immigration Systems (Bristol University Press, 2022), with Jack Maxwell
• Researching Public Law in Common Law Systems (Edward Elgar, 2022), ed. with Professor Paul Daly (in press)
• The Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice (Oxford University Press, 2022), ed. with Professor Robert Thomas, Professor Marc Hertogh, and Dr Richard Kirkham (available online, in press)
• ‘For the record: self-deleting messaging systems and compliance with public law duties’  Public Law, with Cassandra Somers-Joce (in press)
• ‘Certainty at all costs? A critical analysis of the proposed introduction of fixed recoverable costs in immigration judicial reviews’  Judicial Review, with Professor Robert Thomas (in press)
• ‘Researching Administrative Law in the Digital World’ in C. Harlow (ed.), A Research Agenda for Administrative Law (Edward Elgar, 2022), with Professor Paul Daly and Dr Jennifer Raso (in press)
• ‘New Labour’s Administrative Justice Legacy’ in A. Tucker and M. Gordon (eds.), The New Labour Constitution: Twenty Years On (Hart Bloomsbury, 2022), with Dr Richard Kirkham
• Immigration Judicial Reviews: An Empirical Study (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), with Professor Robert Thomas
• ‘Creative non-compliance: Complying with the “spirit of the law” not the “letter of the law” under the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions’ (2021) Deviant Behaviour, with Professor Simon Halliday and Dr Jed Meers (online pre-publication; in press)
• ‘Discrimination in digital immigration status’ (2021) Legal Studies, with Jack Maxwell and Dr Alice Welsh (online pre-publication; in press)
• ‘Rights and Solidarity during COVID-19’ in D. Cowan and A. Mumford (eds.), Pandemic Legalities: Legal Responses to COVID-19 – Justice and Social Responsibility (Bristol University Press, 2021), with Professor Simon Halliday and Dr Jed Meers
• ‘Beyond the end of ouster clause history?’ in L. Stirton, T.T. Arvind, R. Kirkham, and D. Mac Síthigh (eds), Executive Decision-making and the Courts: Revisiting the Origins of Modern Judicial Review (Hart Bloomsbury, 2021)
• ‘Justice in Automated Administration’ (2020) 40(4) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 708
• ‘Judicial Review Evidence in the Era of the Digital State’  Public Law 740, with Katy Sheridan and Dr Adam Harkens (this article has also been translated to Portuguese in D. Nunes, P. Henrique dos Santos Lucon, and I. Werneck (eds.), Direito Processual E Tecnologia: Os Impactos Da Virada Tecnológica No Âmbito Mundial (Juspodivm 2022))
• ‘Do we need a theory of legitimate expectations?’ (2020) 40(2) Legal Studies 28
• ‘Empowering Tribunals to Enforce the Human Rights Act 1998’ (2020) 83(3) Modern Law Review 652, with Alexandra Sinclair
• ‘Reforming Judicial Review Costs Rules in an Age of Austerity’ in. A. Higgins (ed.), The Civil Procedure Rules Twenty Years On (Oxford University Press, 2020), with Alison Pickup
• ‘Judicial Review during the COVID-19 Pandemic’  Public Law 9, with Jo Hynes, Dr Emma Marshall, and Jack Maxwell
• ‘In Defence of the Court? Emerging Geographies of Publicness, Materiality, Access and Communication in Court Hearings’ (2020) 14(9) Geography Compass e12499, with Professor Nick Gill and Jo Hynes
• ‘A Different Tale of Judicial Power: Administrative Review as a Problematic Response to the Judicialisation of Tribunals’  Public Law 537, with Professor Robert Thomas
• ‘Crowdfunding Public Interest Judicial Reviews: A Risky New Resource and the Case for a Practical Ethics’  Public Law 166
• Justice in the Digital State: Assessing the Next Revolution in Administrative Justice (Bristol University Press, 2019)
• ‘Foundations for a ‘secret history’ of judicial review: a study of exclusion as bureaucratic routine’ (2019) 41(2) Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law 252
I teach the following modules:
• Undergraduate Dissertation (module leader, with Professor Simon Halliday); and
• Public Interest Litigation (module leader).
I am regularly invited to deliver guest lectures and have taught in this capacity at a number of institutions, including New York University, Melbourne University, and the London School of Economics. I also regularly deliver training sessions at external organisations, both related to my substantive research and research methodologies in public law.
I am very happy to speak to prospective postgraduate research students interested in pursuing research in the field of administrative law and justice.
I am happy to speak to prospective research students interested in pursuing research in the field of public law.