Dr Richard Kirkham

School of Law

Senior Lecturer

Richard Kirkham
R.M.Kirkham@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6704

Full contact details

Dr Richard Kirkham
School of Law
Bartolomé House
Winter Street
Sheffield
S3 7ND
Profile

My main research interest is administrative justice, with a particular specialism on the work of the ombudsman. I am a current holder of an 18 month Nuffield Foundation grant examining the procedural fairness in ombuds schemes.

I am a recognised national and international authority on the ombudsman institution after writing widely on the topic, including the book The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice (with Trevor Buck and Brian Thompson (Ashgate, 2011)).

In 2013, I was the lead author on an independent report commissioned to review the work of the Local Government Ombudsman in England External Evaluation of the Local Government Ombudsman. In 2013 I also conducted an evaluation of the Gibraltar Ombudsman scheme - A Review of the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman.

In 2007 I was the author of a Parliamentary Paper on the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s 40th anniversary, The Parliamentary Ombudsman: Withstanding the test of time.

My work has been widely cited, for instance in the Law Commission’s 2008 and 2010 reports on 'Administrative Redress: Public Bodies and the Citizen' and its later work on "Public Services Ombudsmen". For the 2014 REF exercise my combined work was submitted as one of the School of Law’s impact studies.

In 2015, I received a Faculty of Social Sciences Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences (TESS) award for outstanding learning and teaching. In recent years I have become a regular blogger and can be followed on twitter.

Previously, I studied Law at Southampton University (LLB), Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Sheffield (MA) and completed a PhD in Law, also at the University of Sheffield. I have worked as a lecturer at the University of Sheffield since 2001, and before that was employed by the Audit Commission.

Qualifications
  • PhD, University of Sheffield
  • MA Socio-Legal Studies, University of Sheffield
  • LLB Law, University of Southampton
Research interests
  • Ombudsman
  • Constitutional theory
  • Administrative justice
  • ADR

I was formerly the Director of the Centre for the Study of Law in Society.

Publications

Books

  • Buck T, Kirkham R & Thompson B (2010) The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice. Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

  • Kirkham R & Stuhmcke A (2020) The common law theory and practice of the ombudsman/judiciary relationship. Common Law World Review. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM, Leigh J, McLaughlin K & Worsley A (2019) The Procedural Fairness Limitations of Fitness to Practise Hearings: a case study into social work. Legal Studies, 39(2), 339-357. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2017) JR55, judicial strategy and the limits of textual reasoning. Public Law(1), 46-62. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Behan CM & Kirkham R (2016) Monitoring, Inspection and Complaints Adjudication in Prison: The Limits of Prison Accountability Frameworks. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 55(4), 432-454. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM & Allt A (2016) Making sense of the case law on Ombudsman schemes. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 38(2), 211-227. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2016) The ombudsman, tribunals and administrative justice section: a 2020 vision for the ombudsman sector. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 38(1), 103-114. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2015) A Welsh Twist on Constitutional Watchdogs. Cambrian Law Review. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM & Wells P (2014) Evolving Standards in the Ombudsman Sector. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(2), 190-207. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Wells P (2014) Evolving standards in the complaints branch. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 36(2), 190-207. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Martin J (2014) Designing an English Public Services Ombudsman. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 36(3), 330-348. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2012) The Ombudsman, Tribunals and Administrative Justice Section. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(1), 71-73. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2011) Implementing the Recommendations of the Ombudsman … again. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(1), 71-83. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Buck T, Kirkham RM & Thompson B (2011) Time for a ‘Leggatt’ style review of the ombudsman system. Public Law, 20-29. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2011) Administrative Justice in Context: A manifesto for further study. Modern Law Review, 74(4). RIS download Bibtex download
  • French D & Kirkham RM (2010) Complaint and Grievance Mechanisms in International Law: One Piece of the Accountability Jigsaw?. New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, 179-206. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2010) Quangos, Coalition Government and the ombudsmen. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(4), 411-421. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2010) Lessons from devolution. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3), 325-334. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R, Thompson B & Buck T (2009) Putting the Ombudsman into Constitutional Context. Parliamentary Affairs, 62(4), 600-617. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2009) A new Scottish approach to administrative justice. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3), 299-308. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2009) The Constitutional Role of the Ombudsman. The International Ombudsman Year Book, 10, 120-140. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2008) Explaining the lack of enforcement power possessed by the ombudsman. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3), 253-263. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2008) Quiet moves towards proportionate dispute resolution: The Law Commission's consultation paper on administrative redress. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(2), 163-174. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2008) Human Rights and the Ombudsmen – 2005-06. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(1), 75-83. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2008) When Putting Things Right Goes Wrong: Enforcing the Recommendations of the Ombudsman. Public Law, 510-530. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2007) New legislation, court cases, Parliamentary reports and an anniversary: A Review of the Public Sector Ombudsmen – 2006-07. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3/4), 319-330. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2006) A Review of the Public Sector Ombudsmen – 2005-06. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3/4), 347-358. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2006) Challenging the authority of the Ombudsman: The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s special report on wartime detainees. Modern Law Review, 792-818. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM & cardwell PJ (2006) The EU: a role model for regional governance?. European Public Law, 3, 403-431. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2006) Housing Allocation, Homelessness, Special Reports and the Ombudsmen. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(2), 189-198. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2006) Finally, Reform is on its Way. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(1), 81-86. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2005) Auditing by stealth? Special Reports and the Ombudsman. Public Law, 740-748. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2005) A complainant’s view of the Local Government Ombudsman. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3/4), 381-392. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2005) Reforming the Tribunal Sector. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(2), 185-197. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2005) The Ombudsmen of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(1), 79-90. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2004) The latest from the UK Ombudsmen. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(4), 417-429. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2004) Prevention is better than litigation. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(3), 301-311. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2004) When is it appropriate to use an Ombudsman?. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(2), 181-194. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2004) A Year in the Life of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law(1), 89-98. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM & James R (2003) Slow Progress in Parliament: the Eighth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Modern Law Review, 906-919. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2003) Dealing with unlawful charging of mental health patients. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 401-412. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2003) Why Ombudsmen are important: helping long-term patients. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 267-275. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Beyleveld D, Kirkham RM & Townend D (2002) Which presumption? A critique of the House of Lords’ Reasoning on Retrospectivity. Journal of Legal Studies, 185-207. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Elizabeth O () Judicial Review and Ombuds: A Systematic Analysis. Public Law. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Chapters

  • Kirkham RM (2016) Regulating ADR: Lessons from the UK In Cortes P (Ed.), The New Regulatory Framework for Consumer Dispute Resolution Oxford University Press View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2014) Commentary: The improving but imperfect world of the Ombudsman In Elliott M & Thomas R (Ed.), Public Law Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thompson B, Kirkham RM & Buck T (2011) Modelul Ombudsmanului britanic, irlandez şi Australian: expansiune, redimensionare şi noi orizonturi In Dragoş D-C & Neamţu B (Ed.), Instituţia Ombudsmanului: justiţie alternativă? (pp. 277-299). Bucharest: C H Beck. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM & French (2010) Complaint and Grievance Mechanisms in International Dispute Settlement In French , Saul & White (Ed.), International Law and Dispute Settlement New Problems and Techniques (pp. 57-86). Hart RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2005) CARICOM and the role of regional organisations in the global legal order In Lewis D (Ed.), International and Regional Organisations (pp. 177-198). Oxford: Hart. RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Kirkham RM (2012) The Future of the Ombudsmen Enterprise. The Future of the Ombudsmen Enterprise” 10th World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institu. Wellington, New Zealand, 11 July 2012 - 18 July 2012. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM () Judicial Review or the Ombudsman: which institution best provides long term administrative advice?. Public Law Project, 6 July 2006 - 10 July 2006. RIS download Bibtex download

Reports

  • Kirkham RM & Martin J (2015) The creation of an English Public Services Ombudsman: mapping a way forward. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thomas R, Kirkham RM & Martin J (2013) External Evaluation of the Local Government Ombudsman RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2012) A Review of the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM, Thompson B & Buck T (2008) Public services ombudsmen and administrative justice: models, roles, methods and relationships RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2007) The Parliamentary Ombudsman: Withstanding the test of time RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Kirkham RM (2015) Mapping a new world of accredited ADR schemes. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2015) Analysis: Not there yet but some ombudsman reform buses have come into sight. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2014) Analysis: Richard Kirkham on the Government’s plans for consumer ADR: Innovation or more of the same. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2014) Lessons in watchdog design from Scotland and Wales. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2014) The creation of an English Public Services Ombudsman: mapping a way forward. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2014) Another false dawn, or the moment ADR becomes mainstream?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2009) The Ombudsmen Enterprise and Administrative Justice: an academic viewpoint. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2007) Researching Public Services Ombudsmen and Administrative Justice. RIS download Bibtex download

Other

  • Kirkham RM (2015) Submitted evidence to the Assembly for Wales (Finance Committee) Inquiry into the powers of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2015) Submitted evidence to the Cabinet Office's Consultation on A Public Service Ombudsman. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thompson B, Kirkham RM & Buck T (2013) Submitted evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry of the Public Administration Select Committee. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thompson B, Kirkham RM & Buck T (2013) Submitted evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry of the Public Administration Select Committee. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2011) Consultation response to the Law Commission’s Public Services Ombudsmen paper. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM & James R (2002) Oral evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham RM (2002) Written evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, 2. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group
  • Administrative Justice
  • Ombudsmen
  • Public Law
Grants

Title/Description: ‘Challenging the ombudsman: Are current review processes fit for purpose?

  • Awarding Body: Nuffield Foundation
  • People Involved: Kirkham, R.
  • Years Funded for: 2017-2018
  • Amount: £83,491

Title/Description: ‘Legal Transplants and Public Service Bargains: Explaining Civil Service Performance and Reform in Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago’

  • Awarding Body: British Academy: International Partnership and Mobility Scheme
  • People Involved: Stirton, L., Kirkham, R., and Lodge, M.
  • Years Funded for: 2013-2015
  • Amount: £29,864

Title/Description: Public Services ombudsmen and administrative justice: models, roles, methods and relationships

  • Awarding Body: Swindon: Economic and Social Research Council
  • People Involved: Kirkham, R., Thompson, B. and Buck, T.
  • Years Funded for: 2007-2008
  • Amount: £77,115
Teaching interests

I received a Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 in recognition of sustained high quality teaching, various examples of innovative teaching and best practice in the School of Law, and for my work in leading the review of our undergraduate qualifying law degrees.

Teaching activities

The module I teach are:

Undergraduate

  • Public Law in the UK and the EU
  • Law and Accountability
  • Advanced Constitutional Law
  • Advanced Administrative Law (Convenor)

Postgraduate and MA

  • Administrative Law (Convenor)
Professional activities
  • Editor of Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
  • Member of British and Irish Ombudsman Association
  • Witness for the Committee on Standards in Public Life

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • ‘The Public Service Ombudsman (Wales) Bill: comparisons with the global model’ The Ombudsman in a decade of public policy change, Ombudsman Association, University of Aberwsywth (28 October 2016)
  • ‘Legal Transplants, Public Sector Bargains and the Ombudsman’ Public sector bargains in Jamaica, University of West Indies (25 October 2016)
  • ‘Brexit and Judicial Power’ Workshop on the Miller case University of Liverpool (October 2016)
  • ‘Demanding More of Judicial Reasoning’ Reform Public Law Now conference, University of Sussex, (September 2016)
  • ‘Problems with justice and ADR’, ADR and Justice Conference, University of Oxford, 18-20 April 2016.
  • Building a Legal Database for the Ombudsman Sector, Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, Reading, March 2016.
  • ‘Insights from the UK: What has the ADR Directive done for the Ombudsman model?’, Transformation of Consumer Dispute Resolution in the EU workshop, University of Leicester, September 2015.
  • ‘Evaluating Ombudsman Schemes in the Round’, Trusting the middle –man’: Impact and Legitimacy of Ombudsmen, University of Oxford, April 2014.