Centre for Empirical Legal Studies


UCL Laws: Centre for Empirical Legal Studies

Philip Schofield   WILLIAM TWINING
Emeritus Quain Professor of Jurisprudence

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At the start of his career William Twining taught for seven years in Sudan and Tanzania . He has maintained an interest in Eastern Africa , and more broadly the Commonwealth, ever since. He has studied and taught in several leading UK and American law schools. A prominent member of the Law in Context movement, he has contributed especially to jurisprudence, evidence and proof, legal method, legal education, and intellectual history.

His recent work explores the implications of “globalisation” for legal scholarship and legal theory. Central themes include the variety and complexity of legal phenomena; that many so-called “global” processes and patterns are sub-global, linked to empires, diasporas, alliances and legal traditions; that diffusion, legal pluralism, and surface law are important topics for both analytical and empirical jurisprudence; that, in a world characterised by profound diversity of beliefs and radical poverty, the discipline of law needs to engage with problems of constructing just and workable supra-national institutions and practices; and that adopting a global perspective challenges some of the main working assumptions of Western traditions of academic law.

William Twining, formerly Quain Professor of Jurisprudence until 1996, has held chairs in Belfast and Warwick and numerous visiting appointments.

Professor Twining is researching in the following areas:

  • General Jurisprudence
  • Narrative and Reasoning in Legal Contexts
  • Analysis of Evidence


Legal Theory

  • Karl Llewellyn and the Realist Movement (1973, 1985; 2nd edition, 2012 with Afterword, Cambridge University Press)
  • Globalisation and Legal Scholarship (Montesquieu Lecture, Tilburg, 2011)
  • General Jurisprudence: Understanding Law from a Global Perspective (2009) (Cambridge University Press)
  • Human Rights: Southern Voices (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
  • How To Do Things With Rules (with David Miers , 4th edn., 1999; 5 th edn Cambridge University Press 2010)
  • “Implications of globalisation for law as a discipline” in A.Halpin and V. Roeben (eds.) Theorising the Global Order 2009)
  • “Social Science and Diffusion of Law” Jo. Law and Society, 32: 203-40 (2005)
  • “The Hutton Inquiry: Some Wider Legal Aspects” in W. G. Runciman (ed.) Hutton and Butler: Lifting the Lid on the Workings of Power (British Academy/ Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • The Great Juristic Bazaar: Jurists' Texts and Lawyers' Stories (Ashgate, 2003)
  • Globalisation and Legal Theory (2000)

Evidence and Proof

  • Evidence, Inference and Enquiry (ed. With P. Dawid and M. Vasalaki. 2012.The  British Academy, 2012)
  • Analysis of Evidence (2nd edition, with Terence Anderson and David Schum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)
  • Rethinking Evidence (2 nd edition, 2006)
  • Evidence and Inference in History and Law (ed. with Iain Hampsher-Monk, Northwestern UP, 2003)

Legal education and legal scholarship

  • 'The Role of Academics in the Legal System' (UK) in P. Cane and M. Tushnet (eds) Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies (OUP,2003) pp.920-29.
  • Law in Context: Enlarging a Discipline (1997)
  • Blackstone's Tower: The English Law School, 1994 Hamlyn Lectures

He is also Co-editor of the Law in Context and Jurists series.

Papers to Download by Professor William Twining

  • Neil MacCormick: a memoir
  • LETR Report: Twelve Theses
  • R/realism and legal theory: Ten Theses
  • Moving Beyond Law: Interdisciplinarity and the Study of Evidence (2011)
  • Legal Pluralism 101 (2010)
  • Law, Justice and Rights: Some Implication of a Global Perspective
  • Surface Law
  • Table of Contents and Preface: General Jurisprudence: Understanding Law from a Global Perspective (2009)
  • Globalisation and Legal scholarship (Montesquieu Lecture, Tilburg 2009)
  • Interview by Raymundo Gama
  • page updated on 8 November, 2013