LLM Programme

Ian Williams  



MA, LLM, PhD (Cantab)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1474 | internal: x21474
Email: i.s.williams@ucl.ac.uk

Ian joined UCL in September 2009 from Cambridge University, where he was a College Lecturer at Christ’s College. He was a Francis Bacon Foundation Fellow at the Henry E. Huntington Library, California in 2006.

Ian's research interests are in legal history, particularly early-modern English legal history (c.1500-c.1640). He has a particular interest in the history of common-law reasoning and its interaction with legal theory. Recent work examined the reception of the book known as Bracton in early-modern England, and how the techniques lawyers applied when reading affected their understanding of both the law and the legal past.

Current research projects cluster around a major study of early-modern legal reasoning and theory, which will involve investigation of neglected sources in early-modern public law. Ian is also working on the theory and practice of the court of Star Chamber as a court of equity and the idea of the Chancery as a prerogative court. Both of these projects have a particular focus on the work and influence of the Elizabethan scholar William Lambarde. He is investigating the utility of speeches in the Inns of Court as a source for understanding lawyers’ legal and political thought.


  • ‘The Tudor Genesis of Edward Coke’s Immemorial Common Law’ (2012) 43(1) Sixteenth Century Journal 103-123
  • ‘Early-modern judges and the practice of precedent’ in P. Brand and J. Getzler (eds), Judges and Judging in the History of the Common Law and Civil Law (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  • ‘A medieval book and early-modern law: Bracton’s authority and application in the common c.1550-1640’ (2011) 79 Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschienis/The Legal History Review 47-80
  • '“He creditted more the printed booke”: common lawyers' receptivity to print, c.1550 – 1640' (2010) 28(1) Law and History Review 39-70
  • 'Dr Bonham's Case and "Void" Statutes' (2006) 27(2) Journal of Legal History 111-128.

For a complete list of Ian’s publications, see his UCL IRIS profile.

Current Teaching
History of English Law
Property Law I
Property Law II

The Historical Development of the Common Law

Ph.D Supervision
Ian Williams welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students.

Notarial Practice Course
Roman Law as an Introduction to Modern Civil Law Systems

This page last modified 23 January, 2014 by Laws Webmaster


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