Accessibility statement

Joe Tomlinson



Dr Joe Tomlinson
LLB (Manchester) PhD (Manchester)

Senior Lecturer in Public Law

I am Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of York. Prior to joining York in 2019, I held lectureships in Public Law at King’s College London and the University of Sheffield. I have also held visiting posts at Melbourne Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School. I completed my LL.B and Ph.D at the University of Manchester.

I am also Research Director of the Public Law Project—a national legal charity, based in London, which seeks to improve access to public law for the poor and disadvantaged. In 2019, I was an ESRC Parliamentary Academic Fellow, supporting the Justice Committee’s inquiry into courts and tribunals reform. I also sit on the Administrative Justice Council’s Academic Panel and the Digital Freedom Fund’s Panel of Experts.

Prior to entering academia, I worked in various clerking roles, including working in President Carl Baudenbacher’s Cabinet at the EFTA Court, as Legal Assistant to Gerard McDermott QC, and at Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP.



My research focuses on the interplay between public law, public policy, and government systems. It often draws upon empirical research methods and examines current policy problems. The overarching aim of my research is, through detailed study of specific systems, to describe, explain, and assess the relationship between law and state in contemporary society.

Specific areas I have undertaken research on include the crowdfunding of public interest litigation, the EU Settlement Scheme, the use of digital immigration status, delegated legislation, automated administrative decision-making, and compliance with COVID-19 measures. I have a particular interest in the use of digital systems within administration.

Through the application of my research, I am involved in the active development of policy and practice in this field. My work has been cited by the UK Supreme Court, relied on in significant public law litigation (including R (on the application of Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry and others v Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41 and RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] UKSC 52), cited in both the House of Lords and House of Commons, and has formed the basis of a Law Commission reform project.


Selected publications

  • J. Tomlinson, ‘Justice in Automated Administration’ (2020) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (in press)

  • J. Tomlinson, K. Sheridan, and A. Harkens, ‘Judicial Review Evidence in the Era of the Digital State’ [2020] Public Law (in press)

  • J. sTomlinson and A. Sinclair, ‘Empowering Tribunals to Enforce the Human Rights Act 1998’ (2020) Modern Law Review 652

  • J. Tomlinson and A. Pickup, ‘Reforming Judicial Review Costs Rules in an Age of Austerity’ in. A. Higgins (ed.), The Civil Procedures Rules Twenty Years On (Oxford University Press, 2020) (in press)

  • J. Tomlinson, ‘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 (Hart Bloomsbury, 2020)

  • J. Tomlinson, N. Gill, J. Hynes, ‘In Defence of the Court? Emerging Geographies of Publicness, Materiality, Access and Communication in Court Hearings’ (2020) Geography Compass (online pre-publication available)

  • J. Tomlinson, ‘Do we need a theory of legitimate expectations?’ (2020) 40(2) Legal Studies 286

  • J. Tomlinson and R. Thomas, Immigration Judicial Reviews: An Empirical Study (Nuffield Foundation, 2019)

  • J. Tomlinson, Justice in the Digital State: Assessing the Next Revolution in Administrative Justice (Bristol University Press, 2019; open access) (with a foreword by Professor Carol Harlow QC(Hon))

  • J. Tomlinson and R. Thomas, ‘A Different Tale of Judicial Power: Administrative Review as a Problematic Response to the Judicialisation of Tribunals’ [2019] Public Law 537

  • J. Tomlinson, ‘Crowdfunding Public Interest Judicial Reviews: A Risky New Resource and the Case for a Practical Ethics’ [2019] Public Law 166

  • J. Tomlinson and B. Karemba, ‘Tribunal Justice, Brexit, and Digitalisation: Immigration Appeals in the First-tier Tribunal’ (2019) 33(1) Journal of Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Law 47

  • J. Tomlinson and R. Thomas, ‘Remodelling Social Security Appeals (Again): The Advent of Online Tribunals’ (2018) 25(2) Journal of Social Security Law 84

  • J. Tomlinson and L. Lovdahl Gormsen, ‘Stumbling Towards the UK’s New Administrative Settlement: A Study of Competition Law Enforcement After Brexit’ (2018) 20 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 233

  • J. Tomlinson, ‘The Grammar of Administrative Justice Values’ (2017) 39(4) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 524

  • J. Tomlinson and R. Thomas, ‘Mapping current issues in administrative justice: austerity and the ‘more bureaucratic rationality’ approach’ (2017) 39(3) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 380

  • J. Tomlinson, ‘The Narrow Approach to Substantive Legitimate Expectations and the Trend of Modern Authority’ (2017) 17(1) Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 75



I teach on the following modules/subjects:

  • Public Law; and
  • Undergraduate Dissertation (module leader). 


I am happy to speak to prospective research students interested in pursuing research in the field of public law.

Contact details

Dr Joe Tomlinson
York Law School

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 6472