Dr Richard Kirkham

School of Law

Interim Head of School

Staff photo of 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

  • (2020) A Manifesto for Ombudsman Reform. Springer International Publishing. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hertogh M & Kirkham R (2018) Research Handbook on the Ombudsman. Edward Elgar Publishing. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Buck T, Kirkham R & Thompson B (2013) The ombudsman enterprise and administrative justice. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Buck T, Kirkham R & Thompson B (2011) The ombudsman enterprise and administrative justice. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Buck T, Kirkham R & Thompson B (2010) The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice. Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Kirkham R, Stirton L, Arvind TT & Mac Síthigh D (Eds.) (2021) Executive Decision-Making and the Courts: Revisiting the Origins of Modern Judicial Review.. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Kirkham R, Tomlinson J, Hertogh M & Thomas R (2022) Administrative Justice: An overview of different traditions and concepts In Kirkham R, Tomlinson J, Hertogh M & Thomas R (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice (pp. xv-xxiii). Oxford University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R (2022) The Ombud as a Chameleon: A Story of Adaptation to Different Administrative Cultures In Kirkham R, Tomlinson J, Hertogh M & Thomas R (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice (pp. 89-114). Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Tomlinson J (2022) Revisiting the Administrative Justice Legacy of New Labour In Tucker A & Gordon M (Ed.), The New Labour Constitution Hart Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R (2022) Decentred Regulation of the Ombudsman Sector: UK style In Groves M & Stuhmcke A (Ed.), Decentred Regulation of the Ombudsman Sector: UK style RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R, Arvind TT, Stirton L & Mac Síthigh D (2021) Introduction: Judicial review and the Quartet In Kirkham R, Arvind TT, Stirton L & Mac Síthigh D (Ed.), Executive Decision-Making and the Courts: Revisiting the Origins of Modern Judicial Review Hart Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R, Stirton L, Arvind TT & Mac Síthigh D (2021) The real argument about judicial review In Kirkham R, Stirton L, Arvind TT & Mac Síthigh D (Ed.), Executive Decision-Making and the Courts: Revisiting the Origins of Modern Judicial Review Hart Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Tsarapatsanis D (2021) Strategic judging: lessons from the Reid era of judicial decision-making In Kirkham R, Stirton L, Arvind TT & Mac Síthigh D (Ed.), Strategic judging: lessons from the Reid era of judicial decision-making RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Taylor M (2021) Health Data, Public Interest, and Surveillance for Non Health-Related Purposes In Iphofen R & Kolstoe S (Ed.), Ethical Issues in Covert, Security and Surveillance Research RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R & Gill C (2020) Five Principles for a New Public Services Ombudsman, A Manifesto for Ombudsman Reform (pp. 13-39). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kirkham R (2020) Strengthening Procedural Fairness and Transparency Through Ombudsman Legislation, A Manifesto for Ombudsman Reform (pp. 127-142). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gill C & Kirkham R (2020) Introduction, A Manifesto for Ombudsman Reform (pp. 1-11). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hertogh M & Kirkham R (2018) An agenda for future research: Towards a general 'ombuds-science', Research Handbook on the Ombudsman (pp. 508-515). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hertogh M & Kirkham R (2018) The ombudsman and administrative justice: From promise to performance, Research Handbook on the Ombudsman (pp. 1-15). RIS download Bibtex download
  • 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.