Tom Hickman   TOM HICKMAN
MA (Cantab), LLM (Hons) (Toronto), PhD (Cantab)
Reader in Public Law

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Tom joined the faculty in October 2012 as a Reader in Public Law.

Tom is a graduate of Cambridge University (undergraduate and Doctorate) and the University of Toronto (Masters).

Tom gave the 2013 Stephen Livingston Lecture at Queen’s University Belfast, on intelligence sharing and human rights violations. In June 2014 Tom delivered a lecture on Bill of Rights reform as one of three invited speakers at an event on New Zealand Bill of Rights reform held at the Parliament Building in Wellington, New Zealand. He also gave talks at the Universities of Otago and Auckland.

In 2012-2014, Tom was a Fellow of the a Fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law with co-responsibility with Professor Adam Tomkins for its national security project and the Centre’s influential responses to the Justice and Security Green Paper and the Justice and Security Bill. He also assisted in preparing the Centre’s responses to the Government’s judicial review reform proposals.

Tom gave oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Justice and Security Green Paper in 2012.

Tom is a practising barrister at Blackstone Chambers in which capacity he regularly acts in high profile cases including ten cases before the Supreme Court (and formerly House of Lords).

Past cases include representing AF in AF (No. 3) [2010] 2 AC 269 (fairness in control order cases), Binyam Mohamed in R (Binyam Mohamed) [2010] QB 218 (public interest immunity), Mr Lumba in Lumba (sub nom WL) (Congo) [2012] 1 AC 245 (immigration detention), Human Rights Watch and Justice in RB & U (Algeria [2010] 2 AC 110 (SIAC and diplomatic assurances) and pension campaigners in R (Bradley & Ors) [2009] QB 114 (status of Parliamentary Ombudsman reports). He also acts for central and local government.

Tom is currently representing the claimants in R (Hewestone & Reilly) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, concerned with the retrospective imposition of benefits sanctions by primary legislation, in which a declaration of incompatibility under the Human Rights Act 1998 was obtained in July 2014 (appeal pending).

Tom often blogs on the UK Constitutional Law Group blog and sometimes tweets as well.


Tom’s research interests lie in public law, human rights, national security law and constitutional law and theory. Tom convenes UCL’s LLM course, Aspects of National Security Law. He also teaches on other courses involving public law and human rights.

Tom is currently working on a legal historical paper on seditious libel and national security laws in eighteenth century England and a paper on comparative human rights adjudication.



  • Public Law After the Human Rights Act (Hart, 2010)

Awarded the Inner Temple Book Prize 2008-2011 (new author).

Fox-Decent (2012) 62 University of Toronto Law Journal 133 (review article); Himsworth (2011) 20(4) Social & Legal Studies 520; James (2011) 21(8) Law & Politics Book Review; Masterman [2001] Public law 651; Gledhill (2011) (June) New Zealand Law Journal; Knight (2010) 69 Cambridge Law Journal 682; Metcalf (2010) 7(2) Justice Journal 82; Marlow (2010) 160 New Law Journal 1160; and reviews by Baroness Hale, Lord Collins, Sir Stephen Sedley, Elias LJ, Sir Francis Reynolds, reproduced in the Inner Temple Yearbook 2012-13.

  • Human Rights: Judicial Protection in the United Kingdom (Sweet & Maxwell 2008), Co-authors: Sir Jack Beatson, Stephen Grosz and Rabinder Singh QC with Stephanie Palmer.

Beloff (2011) Law Quarterly Review 127; Leigh [2010] Public Law 206, Otty (2010) 15(3) Judicial Review 282; Murphy, [2009] EHRLR 721, Greenhall, (2008) 6(2) Justice Journal 66.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • 'National Security Law and the Creep of Secrecy: A Transatlantic Tale'; (with Adam Tomkins) in L. Lazarus, C. McCrudden and N. Bowles, Reasoning Rights Comparative Judicial Engagement (Hart 2014)
  • 'Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right? The development of the Public Sector Equality Duties in Administrative Law' [2013] Public Law 325
  • 'Negotiable Rights, what Rights?'[2012] Modern Law Review 437
  • 'Problems for Proportionality' [2011] New Zealand Law Review 303
  • 'Beano no more: The EU Charter of Rights after Lisbon' [2011] Judicial Review 131 (with K Beale)
  • 'Judges and Politicians after the Human Rights Act 1998: A Comment' [2008] Public Law 84
  • 'The Substance and Structure of Proportionality' [2008] Public Law 694
  • 'Proportionality: Comparative Law Lessons' [2007] Judicial Review 31
  • 'In Defence of the Legal Constitution' (2005) 55 University of Toronto Law Journal 981
  • 'Between Human Rights and the Rule of Law: Indefinite Detention and the Derogation Model of Constitutionalism' (2005) 68 Modern Law Review 655
  • 'Constitutional Dialogue, Constitutional Theories and the Human Rights Act 1998' [2005] Public Law 306
  • 'The "Uncertain Shadow": Throwing Light on the Right to a Court under Article 6(1) ECHR' [2004] Public Law 122
  • 'The Reasonableness Principle: Reassessing its place in the Public Sphere' (2004) 63 Cambridge Law Journal 166
  • 'Tort Law, Public Authorities and the Human Rights Act 1998' chapter 2, in Fairgrieve, Andenas and Bell (eds.), The Liability of Public Authorities in Comparative Perspective (BIICL: London, 2002)

Other Papers

Blog posts, case notes and short pieces

  • ‘Further Concerns About the DRIP Bill’ UK Const. L. Blog 16 July 2014
  • ‘Plugging Gaps in Surveillance Laws or Authorising the Unlawful?’ UK Const. L. Blog 14 July 2014
  • ‘Loading the Dice in Judicial Review: the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2014’ (with Ben Jaffey) UK Const. L. Blog (6 Feb 2014)
  • ‘The High Court Rides to the Aid of Richard III’ UK Const. L. Blog (29 August 2013)
  • ‘Turning out the lights? The Justice and Security Act 2013’ UK Const. L. Blog (11th June 2013)
  • 'Justice and Security Bill: Defeat, or Not a Defeat: That is the Question’ UK Const. L. Blog (27th Nov 2012)
  • ‘The Return of Abu Qatada (to the Streets of London)’ UK Const. L. Blog (14th Nov 2012)
  • ‘Commercially Relevant – human rights legislation in commercial disputes‘ Legal Week 13 July 2012
  • 'Where is the "Justice" in the Justice and Security Bill?‘ UK Const. L. Blog (5 June 2012)
  • ‘Freedom of Expression and the Olympics‘ UK Const. L. Blog (3rd May 2012), (a version was also published in The Lawyer).
  • ‘Data Over-protection‘ UK Const. L. Blog (10th March 2012),
  • ‘The Bill of Rights Commission and the How Question’ UK Const. L. Blog (18th October 2011)
  • ‘The EU Charter of Rights’ Lawyer 2B, Autumn 2010
  • ‘Stop your racist land grab, tribunal tells Robert Mugabe’ The Times, 5 March 2009
  • ‘Cases on the presumption of innocence and acquittals’ [2003] EHRLR 539 (with Faisal Saifee)
  • ‘Watching Britain burn: can we demand protection from fire?’ [2002] New Law Journal 1863
  • ‘Negligence and Article 6: The Great Escape?’ (2002) 61 Cambridge Law Journal 13
  • ‘Clark: The Demise of O’Reilly Completed?’ [2000] Judicial Review 178
  • ‘And That’s Magic!: Making Public Bodies Liable for Failure to Confer Benefits’ (2000) 59 Cambridge Law Journal 432

Book Reviews

  • J. Christoffersen & M. Rask Madsen (eds.) OUP 2010, The European Court of Human Rights between Law and Politics [2012] EHRLR 357
  • Essays in Honour of Michael Taggart; Essays in Honour of Mark Aronson [2010] Judicial Review 393
  • O. Gross & F. Aoláin, Law in Times of Crisis [2009] Public Law 175
  • B. Ackerman, Before the Next Attack [2007] Public Law 178
  • C. Harlow, State Liability – Tort Law and Beyond [2006] Public Law 418
  • C. Gearty, Human Rights Adjudication [2005] Public Law 210
  • D. Fairgrieve, State Liability in Tort (2004) 63 Cambridge Law Journal 51
  • J. Wright, Tort Law and Human Rights (2002) 13 King’s College LJ

Some recent conference papers and seminars

  • ‘Bill of Rights Reform: Why New Zealand Should go beyond Britain (Again)’ lecture delivered at the event New Zealand Bill of Rights: A Continuing Conversation, organised by the Law Foundation, Parliament Building Wellington, 3 June 2014.
  • ‘Intelligence Sharing and Human Rights Violations – A challenge for the Rule of Law’ the Stephen Livingstone Lecture at Queen’s University Belfast, 7 November 2013
  • ‘Breakdown in the rule of law? Judicial review and private law claims involving national security issues’, Durham University, Human Rights Centre seminar series, 23 Nov 2012
  • ‘The Legal Limits on Intelligence Sharing’, conference paper, After Bin Laden: Counter-Terrorism Co-operation and International Law, Newcastle University Law School, May 2012
  • ‘Security and Human Rights’, Oxford University BCL seminar with Prof. Amos Guiora, Oxford University, December 2011.
  • ‘Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right: The case law on the equality duties’, Oxford University Public Law Discussion Group, 24 Nov 2011
  • Convened with Adam Tomkins a workshop on the Justice and Security Green Paper, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, December 2011.
  • ‘State secrets, civil proceedings and the rule of law’ Bingham Centre All Souls workshop on the Rule of Law, September 2011 (with Adam Tomkins)
  • ‘Public Law After the Human Rights Act’, Seminar on LSE European public law seminar programme, February 2011.
  • ‘Procedural obligations under the HRA’ Administrative and Constitutional Law Bar Association Conference, July 2010
  • ‘National Security Law in the UK’ Freiburg Proceedings on Contemporary Security Agendas Against Terrorism, Max Planck Institute, June 2010
  • ‘English developments in judicial review’, Scottish Public Law Association (Edinburgh, June 2010)
  • Convened with Adam Tomkins a workshop on UK national security law at UCL, Feb 2010
  • 'Secret Justice’, faculty seminar, University of Toronto, September 2009
  • Debating Parliamentary Sovereignty with Paul Craig, Dawn Oliver and TRS Allan, Oxford University Law Faculty, 2008

This page last modified 29 August 2014 by Laws Webmaster

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