Joe Tomlinson

Joe Tomlinson


Former affiliation
  • Senior Lecturer, Law

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Joe is happy to speak to prospective students interested in pursuing postgraduate research within his current research areas.

Personal profile


Joe is Professor of Public Law at the University of York. His research, which combines legal and social science methods, focuses on how public law intersects with contemporary government action, particularly public services. 

He has published widely in this field and, in 2023, was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law in recognition of his contribution to the study of administrative law and justice, and socio-legal studies. 

Joe’s research has been influential in law and policy. He has led multiple partnerships with central government departments, local authorities, charities, and industry, and his work has been cited in major policy reviews, in both Houses of Parliament, and at all levels in the courts and tribunals, including the High Court, Court of Appeal, and UK Supreme Court. 

He is currently serving as Chair of the Academic Panel of the Administrative Justice Council. He is a Research Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and a member of the Academic Panel of Blackstone Chambers, London. He also sits on a number of expert legal panels, including for the Digital Freedom Fund and Law for Change.

Prior to joining the University of York in 2019, Joe held lectureships at King’s College London and the University of Sheffield. He completed his LL.B and PhD at the University of Manchester and was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Middle Temple.

Joe was also previously an ESRC Parliamentary Academic Fellow in the House of Commons and served for four years as Research Director of the Public Law Project (a national legal charity). He also spent a period as a Trainee at the EFTA Court, working in President Baudenbacher’s Chambers.

Joe has held visiting appointments at several institutions, including the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, the Constitution Unit at the UCL Department of Political Science, Melbourne Law School, and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Research interests

Joe currently pursues most of his research through the Administrative Fairness Lab, which he co-founded with Simon Halliday (Strathclyde) and Jed Meers (York). The Lab builds evidence-led understanding of how law and process shape frontline public services and explores new avenues for achieving improvements in the performance of services.

Joe also co-leads, with Imran Rasul (UCL/IFS) and Abi Adams (Oxford), the Transforming Justice programme at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which seeks to expand understanding of the justice system through quantitative data and the application of economic methods.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Manchester

Award Date: 19 Apr 2017

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or