UCL Faculty of Laws


Dr Tom Hickman of UCL Laws awarded the Sutherland Prize for Legal History

4 November 2016

Dr Tom Hickman, Reader in Public Law at UCL Faculty of Laws, has been awarded The Sutherland Prize for Legal History

The prize is awarded by the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) and was announced Saturday 29 October 2016 at the ASLH’s Annual Meeting in Toronto.

The prize winning chapter is focused on the case of Entick v Carrington and was published in a book of essays celebrating the 250th centenary of that case in 2015.

Dr Hickman said:

‘It is a great surprise and honour to have been awarded the Sutherland Prize. It is fantastic that the Prize has been awarded for an essay on this history of public law and civil liberties and it is recognition of the continued relevance of that history not only to the UK but to all other common law countries.’

The Sutherland Prize, named in honour of the late Donald W. Sutherland, a distinguished historian of the law of medieval England and a mentor of many students, is awarded annually, on the recommendation of the Sutherland Prize Committee, to the person or persons who wrote the best article on English legal history published in the previous year.

Excerpts from the citation that accompanied the award:

The Sutherland Prize for 2015 is awarded for a book chapter on Entick v. Carrington, a 1765 English case that was a landmark in its day, influenced the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, and continues to find a place in textbooks on English public law. The case was an action for trespass in the Court of Common Pleas for unlawful seizure of personal property by King’s Messengers acting under a warrant of the Secretary of State in respect of the publication of an anti-government pamphlet, The Monitor, authored by John Wilkes and others.’

‘The author places his discussion of Entick v. Carrington in the context of the development of the law of seditious libel as the government’s primary weapon against criticism following the cessation of the licensing laws in the late seventeenth century.’

‘Using material both in print and in manuscript, the chapter melds legal doctrine with politics, litigation strategy, and governmental practice to create a vivid picture of the context of Entick v. Carrington which will be of importance beyond the confines of legal history.’

In response to the announcement, Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean at UCL Laws said:

‘We are delighted at this well-deserved recognition of Tom’s scholarship on the history of public law. The whole of the UCL Laws community warmly congratulates him on the award of the Sutherland Prize.’

Find out more about The Sutherland Prize.