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. Previously, I studied for my bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in public law at the University of Manchester, where I was also a Teaching Assistant. In 2015-16, I was a Visiting Lecturer in Law at King's College London.

My specific research interests lie in administrative law and the design of administrative redress systems (across local, national, and international levels). My work in this field has been published in leading journals, been funded by a range of organisations, and engaged directly with both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. My work has also been cited by the UK Ministry of Justice and in Parliament. Updates on my work are available via my website, Law + Good Administration.

Before joining the University of Sheffield, I completed a doctorate in administrative law at the University of Manchester, where I was also a Teaching Assistant. In 2015-16, I was a Visiting Lecturer in Law at King’s College London. I have also previously worked in the President’s Chambers of the EFTA Court (Luxembourg), at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (London), at the British Institute for International and Comparative Law’s Competition Law Forum (London), as Legal Assistant to Gerard McDermott QC (Manchester/London), and at litigation boutique Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP (London)


  • 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 I research, and my research informs my teaching. I encourage students to think critically about public law and to independently develop an understanding of the state and how it is empowered and constrained.

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 administrative functions. My projects are, generally, designed to have impact, work with external partners (including funders, associations, practitioners, government bodies etc.), and develop research networks.

My current projects concern immigration judicial reviews, internal administrative review systems, legitimate expectations, and administrative design. I am also presently working on an international handbook on administrative justice. My previous work has covered, among other areas, the implications of Brexit on the administrative justice system, the values of administrative justice, and substantive review.

My work on administrative justice has been cited by the UK Ministry of Justice (e.g. Minsitry of Justice, Administrative Justice and Tribunals: Final report of progress against the Strategic Work Programme 2013–2016) and in Parliamentary material (see e.g. House of Commons Library, Brexit: how does the Article 50 process work? (Number 7551, 16 January 2017); House of Commons Library, The Prisons and Courts Bill (Number 7907, 15 March 2017)). My work on ouster clauses and the administrative impacts of Brexit has been cited by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law.

Outside of my work on administrative law, I have also worked on broader aspects of public law, including EU/EEA law, constitutional law, and human/fundamental rights.

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—however advanced your thoughts on a project, or undertaking research more generally, are—I would be happy to consult.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynotes

  • Redesigning Administrative Redress’ (2017) Contemporary Challenges in Constitutional Theory: International, European and Domestic Perspectives, University of Liverpool (forthcoming)
  • (with Robert Thomas) ‘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 (forthcoming)
  • ‘The Individual in the Reformation of the UK’s Bureaucratic State— Administrative Justice, Brexit, and Human Rights’ (2017) British Academy Rising Stars Brexit and Human Rights Conference, University of Cambridge
  • ‘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
  • (with Robert Thomas) ‘Reconsidering Public Law Reform’ (2016) Public Law Reform Now, University of Sussex
  • (with Jake Rylatt) ‘Panel Size Practices in the UKSC–The Case for Reform and Some Preliminaries’ (2016) Society of Legal Scholars Graduate Conference, Jesus College, University of Oxford
  • ‘Prospects for Constitutional Change’ (2015) Unlock Democracy's Magna Carta Event, Manchester

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: 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:

  • 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 part of the Steering Group for the Alumni Network at British Institute for International and Comparative Law. 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
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • European Circuit of the Bar
  • Middle Temple

I am an Editor of the European Law Reporter (Verlag Radical Brain S.A, Luxembourg).

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.