UCL Labour Rights Institute (LRI)

UCL Labour Rights Institute

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UCL Labour Rights Institute

Nicola Countouris  



Laurea (Bari, Italy), MSc (LSE), MJur (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)
Reader in Law
Coordinator, Labour Rights Institute

Contact details:
+44 (0)20 7679 1549 | internal: x21549
Email: n.countouris@ucl.ac.uk

Nicola Countouris joined the Faculty in 2009. Before joining UCL he had taught law at the Universities of Reading, Oxford, and at LSE. He obtained his DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2004 under the supervision of Professor Mark Freedland, and holds an MSc in European Social Policy from LSE and a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford. He has acted as an independent expert for the International Labour Office and on a number of European Commission projects, and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Bologna, Pompeu Fabra University, and the University of Nantes. He is one of the co-ordinators and founding member of UCL’s Labour Rights Institute, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute of Employment Rights.

He is also a contributing editor for the International Labour Law Reports series, an editor for the Italian journal Giornale di Diritto del Lavoro e di Relazioni Industriali, a co-coordinator of the ILERA study group on Labour Law and Industrial Relations, and a founding member of the recently established international ‘Labour Law Research Network’.

Nicola's main research interests are in Labour Law, Social Security Law, EU Law, and Constitutional and Administrative Law. He is currently working on a number of projects ranging from the impact of the ongoing economic crisis on (European and UK) labour and social law, to the conceptualisation of personal work relations in consumer societies, to the role of G. A. Cohen’s work in the analysis of labour relations. He is also involved in a EU funded project on the personal scope of application of EU sex equality directives, and is currently editing a book on ‘Resocializing Europe in a Time of Crisis’ (with Mark Freedland).


  • M. Freedland and N. Kountouris, The Legal Construction of Personal Work Relations (OUP, Oxford, 2011)
  • P. Craig, M. Freedland, C. Jacqueson, N. Kountouris, Public Employment Services and European Law (OUP, Oxford, 2007)
  • N. Countouris, The Changing Law of the Employment Relationship: Comparative Analyses in the European Context (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2007)

Edited Books

  • N. Countouris and M. Freedland (eds.), Resocialising Europe in a Time of Crisis (CUP, Cambridge, 2013)
  • D. Ashiagbord, N. Countouris, I. Lianos (eds), The EU after Lisbon (CUP, Cambridge, 2012)

Chapters in Books

  • N. Countouris, ‘Uses and Misuses of Mutuality of Obligations’ in A. Bogg, C. Costello, A. Davies, J. Prassl (eds), The Autonomy of Labour Law (Hart, Oxford, 2014) (forthcoming)
  • N. Countouris and M. Freedland, ‘Common Law and Voice’, in A. Bogg and T. Novitz (eds), Voices at Work – Continuity and Change in the Common Law World (OUP, Oxford, 2014) (forthcoming)
  • N. Countouris and M. Freedland, ‘Labour Regulation and the Economic Crisis in Europe: Challenges, Responses and Prospects’, in J. Heyes and L. Rychly (eds), Labour Administration in Uncertain Times (Edward Elgar and ILO, 2013), 66-94
  • M. Freedland and N. Kountouris, ‘The Legal Characterization of Personal Work Relations and the Idea of Labour Law’, in G. Davidov and B. Langille (eds), The Idea of Labour Law (OUP, Oxford, 2011), 190
  • N. Countouris, 'The Employment Relationship – A Comparative Analysis of National Judicial Approaches', in G. Casale (ed) The employment relationship: A collection of essays (ILO, Geneva, 2011)
  • N. Countouris, 'La Corte di Giustizia e il Vaso di Pandora del Diritto Sindacale Europeo – Un Punto di Vista Britannico' in A. Vimercati (ed.), Libertà economiche e autonomia collettiva: un conflitto sbilanciato? (Cacucci, Bari, 2009)
  • M. Freedland and N. Kountouris 'The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Work and Pensions - The Institutional Face at Ministerial Level – or 'Not the Department of Employment'' in L Dickens and A Neal (eds) The Changing Face of British Employment Relations (Kluwer, The Hague, 2006)



  • N. Countouris and M. Freedland, ‘’Work’, ‘Self-employment’, and Other Personal Work Relations: Who should be Protected Against Sex Discrimination in Europe’ (2013) European gender Equality Law Review, 15
  • N. Kountouris, ‘The Legal Determinants of Precariousness in Personal Work Relations – A European Perspective’ (2012), Comp. Labor Law and Policy Journal, 101
  • N. Countouris, ‘Remoulding the Scope of Application of Anti-discrimination Law’ (2012), CLJ, 47 (Case note).
  • M. Freedland and N. Kountouris, ‘Employment Equality and Personal Work Relations – a critique of Jivraj v Hashwani’ (2012), ILJ, 56
  • N. Countouris and M. Freedland, ‘Injunctions, Cyanamid, and the Corrosion of the Right to Strike in the UK’ (2011), European Labour Law Journal, 489
  • N. Countouris, 'European Social Law as an Autonomous Legal Discipline' (2010), Yearbook of European Law 2009, 95
  • N. Countouris and R. Horton, 'The Temporary Agency Work Directive: Another Broken Promise?' (2009), ILJ, 329
  • M. Freedland and N. Kountouris, 'Towards a Comparative Theory of the Contractual Construction of Personal Work Relations in Europe', (2008), ILJ, 49-74 (also published in German as M Freedland and N Kountouris, 'Eine vergleichende Theorie über die vertragliche Konstruktion persönlicher Arbeitsbeziehungen in Europa', ZESAR  Heft 5/6 2008, 209-221)

    This article was selected by the ILJ editor Prof. Simon Deakin as one of the 12 most significant articles in the journal’s 40-year history

  • M. Freedland e N. Countouris, 'Politiche del mercato del lavoro e diritti e doveri in Europa', (2005), Giornale di Diritto del Lavoro e Relazioni Industriali, 577-613

Conference Papers and Public Presentations (selected)

  • October 2013, ERA, Thessaloniki, ‘EU Gender Equality Law – Seminar for Members of the Judiciary’
  • October 2013, London, IER, ‘The Changing Face of Collective Labour Law
  • July 2013, Oxford, Oxford Labour Law, ‘Labour Law as Comparative Law – Uses and Misuses of Mutuality of Obligations’
  • June 2013, Barcelona, LLRN Inaugural Conference, ‘Protection or Protectionism: The Emerging False Dilemma in European Integration’ (with S. Engblom)
  • March 2013, Industrial Law Society, London, ‘Who is a workers in European labour law? And who should be’
  • September 2012, Bristol, SLS Conference, ‘Labour Law and the Rise of the Consumer – From the “Binary Divide” to the New “False Quadrilemma’ (advanced draft)
  • July 2012, Philadelphia, ILERA World Congress 2012, ‘Labour Law and the Rise of the Consumer – From the “Binary Divide” to the New “False Quadrilemma"’ (early draft).
  • November 2011, SOAS LLLdg, ‘Employee status and the scope of application of equality law after Jivraj v Hashwani (Supreme Court)’ (with Mark-Freedland)
  • June 2011, Stockholm, ‘UK labour and social legislation during the current economic recession’
  • May 2011, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ‘The Legal Determinants of Precariousness in Personal Work Relations – a European perspective’ (paper to be published in 2012)
  • May 2009, King's College London, 'Contractual Structure and Termination of Personal Work Contracts in European Law' (co-presented with Mark Freedland)
  • February 2009, University of Cambridge, 'Good Faith and Fair Dealing in Personal Work Contracts' (co-presented with Mark Freedland)
  • October 2008, University of Cyprus, ' Harmonisation in Practice: the Case of European Social and Labour Law'
  • June 2008, University of Bari, 'The ECJ and the Pandora's Box of European Collective Labour Law – A British Viewpoint'
  • July 2007, University of Beijing, 'The status of professionals in European Law' (co-presented with Mark Freedland)
  • May 2007, University of Bologna, 'The Regulation of Fixed-term Work in the United Kingdom'
  • March 2007, University of Cambridge, 'Flexibility, Security & Personal Work Arrangements: Beyond the Contract of Employment: The Case of the UK' (co-presented with Mark Freedland)
  • Jan 2007, LSE (London), 'EU Commission Green Paper 'Modernising labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century' – Analysis of Subsection 4.b and replies to questions 7 and 8 of the Green Paper Questionnaire'

Current Teaching
Employment Law
EU Law
Public Law I

European Employment and Equality Law
International Labour Rights in the Global Economy

Ph.D Supervision
June Namgoon

This page last modified 20 February, 2014 by Laws Webmaster