UCL Faculty of Laws

Prof Tom Hickman

Prof Tom Hickman

Professor of Public Law

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2012

Research summary

Research interests cover all areas of public law, national security law, constitutional law and theory and human rights law. 

Teaching summary

Teaches on public law and human rights courses and supervises PhD students in these areas. Convenes the LLM course, Aspects of National Security Law.


Professor of Public Law. 

Tom is a Graduate of Cambridge University and the University of Toronto. He is a Barrister at Blackstone Chambers. He has been Standing Counsel to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner since 2017. 

Tom writes and teaches about constitutional law, administrative law, human rights and national security law.

He is author of Public Law After the Human Rights Act (2010) (Inner Temple Book Prize 2008-11 (new author)); co-author of Human Rights : Judicial Protection in the United Kingdom (2008). 

Tom often blogs on the UK Constitutional Law Group Blog including well-known blog posts on access to justice (“Public Law’s Disgrace" (Part 1 and Part 2)) and “Pulling the Article 50 Trigger: Parliament’s Indispensable Role” with Jeff King and Nick Barber, which argued that legislation was necessary to trigger Article 50 and led to the Supreme Court's ruling in the Miller I case (in which Tom also acted as Counsel). A blog on the misuse of guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic is available here; and a blog on the Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022 here.

Tom's evidence to parliamentary committees has been referred to in a number of committee reports, such as the House of Lords Constitution Committee's June 2021 report on the use of emergency powers during Covid-19 pandemic and the report of the Privileges Committee in June 2022 on Select Committee's powers. Tom's evidence to the JCHR on the Bill of Rights (2022) can be found here.

In January 2020, Tom was the first person in the history of the Bundesverfassungsgericht to give oral evidence on foreign law to that Court, in the landmark BND Act case  (his evidence was on interception of communication laws and oversight) (1 BvR 2835/17). 

Tom was Awarded the Sutherland Prize for Legal History by the American Society of Legal History in 2016 for an essay on the law of seditious libel in eighteenth century England. 

Tom is a practising barrister and King's Counsel at Blackstone Chambers.