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.

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Personal profile


Joe is Professor of Public Law at the University of York. His principal research interest is in advancing understanding of the role of law and fair process in public services, particularly through social science methods. His current research spans sectors including primary healthcare, adult social care, social security benefits, migration, mental health services, and the justice system. In 2023, Joe was awarded the Phillip 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 policy and practice. He has led multiple research partnerships with central government departments and charities, 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. Joe was also previously an ESRC Parliamentary Academic Fellow in the House of Commons and served as Research Director of the Public Law Project, a national legal charity, from 2017 to 2021. He is currently serving as Chair of the Academic Panel of the Administrative Justice Council, and is also a member of the Academic Panel at Blackstone Chambers.

Prior to joining the University of York in 2019, Joe held lectureships at King’s College London (2018-2019) and the University of Sheffield (2016-2018). He has also held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School (2018), Melbourne Law School (2019), the Constitution Unit at the UCL Department of Political Science (2022), and the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University (2024). He completed his LL.B (2013) and PhD (2017) at the University of Manchester and was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Middle Temple (2022).

Research interests

Joe is currently working on various issues relating to the role of law and fair process in public services. His current two main research projects seek to:

  • Understand the full potential of fair process in frontline public services to contribute to a stronger society. Joe is pursuing this work as Director of the the Administrative Fairness Lab, which he founded with Simon Halliday (Strathclyde) and Jed Meers (York) and involves over 30 interdisciplinary researchers; and
  • Expand understanding of the justice system through quantitative data and the application of economic methods.

Joe is also affiliated with a number of research groups, including the ESRC Centre for Vulnerability and Policing Futures,  the Cost of Living Research Group, and the Institute for Mental Health Research at York. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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