Photo of Joe Tomlinson

Dr Joe Tomlinson

Position: Lecturer in Public Law
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6831
Room No: EF03
Feedback and Consultation Availability: You can book an appointment online to see me

Academic Profile

I am a Lecturer in Public Law at the University of Sheffield and Research Director of the Public Law Project. I am also an Associate Fellow of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for Public Understanding of Politics and a Wider Core Team Member of the UK Administrative Justice Institute. I have held visiting positions at King’s College London and Osgoode Hall Law School.

My interests lie in public and administrative law, and particularly the design of administrative redress systems. My work in this field has been published in leading journals and been funded by a range of organisations, including the ESRC and the Nuffield Foundation. Frequent updates on my work are available via my website, Law + Good Administration.

Much of my work is policy-focused. As Research Director at the Public Law Project, I lead the organisation’s engagement-focused research programme. I have completed and am engaged with independent projects that have been undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service. I am a member of the HMCTS Tribunals Professional Users Engagement Forum and the JUSTICE working party for digital exclusion. I also sit on the Drafting Committee of the Bar Human Rights Committee. My work has been cited by a variety of bodies, including the Ministry of Justice, the All Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law, and the House of Commons Library.

Before joining the University of Sheffield, I worked in the President’s Chambers of the EFTA Court, at Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, at the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, and as Legal Assistant to Gerard McDermott QC.


  • LL.B (Hons) (first class, ranked second) (University of Manchester)
  • Ph.D (President’s Doctoral Scholar) (University of Manchester)

Teaching and Learning

I teach in the areas that I research, and my research informs my teaching. I encourage students to think critically about public law and to independently form an understanding of the state, how it is empowered and constrained, and the consequences of our public law arrangements.

The modules I teach are:

Advanced Constitutional Law
Advanced Administrative Law and Justice
Contemporary Issues in Law and Justice
Public Law in the UK and EU
Law Research Paper (Module leader)

Research Interests

My work primarily revolves around the relationship between law and administration. My current projects concern immigration judicial reviews and the digitisation of tribunals. I am also presently working on an international handbook on administrative justice and leading various projects in my capacity as Research Director at the Public Law Project. My previous work has covered, among other areas, the values of administrative justice, legitimate expectations, and internal administrative review.

Areas of Research Supervision

I welcome enquiries about supervising research in, or related to, any aspect of public law. If you are considering research in these areas then I would be happy to consult.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynotes

  • ‘The Digitisation of Administrative Tribunals’ (2018) Socio-Legal Discussion Group, University of Oxford (forthcoming)
  • ‘Online Administrative Tribunals’ (2017) UK Administrative Justice Institute New Voices Event, University of Sheffield
  • ‘New Labour and the reform of administrative justice oversight: a retelling of a tale’ (2017) Twenty Years On: Assessing the State and Legacy of New Labour’s Constitution, University of Liverpool
  • ‘Redesigning Administrative Redress’ (2017) Contemporary Challenges in Constitutional Theory: International, European and Domestic Perspectives, University of Liverpool
  • ‘Tribunals and Administrative Review in UK Administrative Law’ (2017) WG Hart Workshop: Law, Society and Administration in a Changing World, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (with Robert Thomas)
  • ‘Fundamental Institutional Concepts of Administrative Justice’ (2017) Public Law Discussion Group, University of Oxford
  • ‘Brexit in the Supreme Court: The Implications of Panel Size’ (2017) UK Constitutional Law Association Roundtable, University College London
  • ‘Fundamental Institutional Concepts of Administrative Justice: Political Political Theory and Bureaucratic Government’ (2016) Constitutional Law Discussion Group, University of Edinburgh
  • ‘Reconsidering Public Law Reform’ (2016) Public Law Reform Now, University of Sussex (with Robert Thomas)
  • ‘Panel Size Practices in the UKSC–Some Preliminaries’ (2016) Society of Legal Scholars Graduate Conference, Jesus College, University of Oxford (with Jake Rylatt)
  • ‘Prospects for Constitutional Change’ (2015) Unlock Democracy's Magna Carta Event, Manchester

I have regularly organised events, involving a variety of audiences and participants, on important public law and administrative justice issues:

  • New Perspectives on Administrative Justice: Early Career Researchers’ Forum, University of Sheffield, UK Administrative Justice Institute event (2017)
  • Administrative Law after Brexit (speech by Senior President of the Tribunals), Kings Chambers, Northern Administrative Law Association Seminar (organised with Sam Karim QC) (2017)
    UK Quo Vadis?: The EEA as a Workable Framework, University of Sheffield, (organised with the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law, European Circuit of the Bar, and UK Constitutional Law Association) (2017)
  • Administrative Justice: Engaging with Government to Improve Administrative Decision-Making, ESRC Seminar, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (organised with Professor Robert Thomas) (2016)
  • Initial decision-making, internal review, and administrative justice, UK Administrative Justice Institute event, University of Manchester (organised with Professor Robert Thomas) (2016)
  • Debating the Constitution after the General Election, University of Manchester, UK Constitutional Law Association Conference (organsied with Dr Jack Simson Caird, House of Commons Library) (2015)

Seminars/conferences I have recently organised include:

  • (with Robert Thomas, University of Manchester) “Administrative Justice: Engaging with Government to Improve Administrative Decision-Making” (2016) ESRC Seminar, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
  • (with Jack Simson Caird, House of Commons Library) “Debating the Constitution after the General Election” (2015) UK Constitutional Law Association Conference, University of Manchester

Key Projects/Grants

Title/Description: Immigration Judicial Reviews
Awarding Body: Nuffield Foundation
People Involved: Professor Robert Thomas (University of Manchester); HMCTS; Ministry of Justice; ILPA
Dates: 2017-2019
Amount: £113,830
Title/Description: Current Issues in Administrative Justice    
Awarding Body: Economic and Social Research Council
People Involved: Professor Robert Thomas (University of Manchester); HMCTS; UK Administrative Justice Institute; Administrative Justice Forum
Dates: 2016-2017
Amount: £5,000

Title/Description: Legitimate Expectations and Administrative Law Method
Awarding Body: University of Manchester President’s Award
People Involved:
Dates: 2013-2016
Amount: £44,178

Professional activities and recognition

Scholarships, prizes, and awards I have received include:

  • Scholarships, prizes, and awards I have received include:
  • Phoenicia Scholarship, Bar European Group (2015)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association Scholarship (2015)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association Scholarship (2014)
  • American Counsel Association McDermott International Scholarship, American Counsel Association (2013)
  • President’s Doctoral Scholarship, University of Manchester (2013-2017)
  • RG Lawson Prize for Consumer Law, University of Manchester (2013)
  • RG Lawson Prize for Modern Constitutionalism, University of Manchester (2013)
  • RG Lawson Prize for Best Undergraduate Dissertation in Law, University of Manchester (2013)
  • Faculty of Humanities Dean’s Award for Outstanding Academic Performance, University of Manchester (2013)
  • Distinguished Contribution Award, University of Manchester School of Law (2013)

I am a member of the following organisations:

  • UK Constitutional Law Association
  • Northern Administrative Law Association
  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • British Institute for International and Comparative Law
  • Bar Human Rights Committee
  • Bar European Group
  • European Circuit of the Bar
  • Middle Temple

Key Publications

Journal articles

Website content

  • Tomlinson JP & Thomas R Initial decision-making, internal review and administrative justice.
  • Tomlinson JP & Rylatt JW Neuberger’s Novelties: Keyu and the Substantive Review Debate.
  • Tomlinson JP & Thomas R Administrative justice – A primer for policymakers and those working in the system.