Jeff King

Jeff King

LL.B Hons Philosophy (Ottawa); LL.B/B.C.L. (McGill); M.St, D.Phil (Oxon) Member, Bar of New York

Professor of Law

+44 (0)20 3108 8341

Jeff King joined the Faculty of Laws as a Senior Lecturer in 2011, and has been Professor of Law since 2016. He is the Co-Editor of Current Legal Problems, formerly the Co-Editor of the UK Constitutional Law Blog, and sits on the Editorial Committee of Public Law. Prior to coming to UCL, he was a Fellow and Tutor in law at Balliol College, and CUF Lecturer for the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford (2008-2011), a Research Fellow and Tutor in public law at Keble College, Oxford (2007-08), and an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City (2003-04). He has held visiting posts at the University of Toronto, Renmin University (Beijing), the University of New South Wales, and in 2014-15 was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation visiting fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is presently an elected member of the General Council of the International Society of Public Law (ICON Society), Executive Member of the UK Constitutional Law Association, and member of the UK Study of Parliament Group. In 2017 he was the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law.


Jeff’s research interests broadly include UK and comparative public law, constitutional theory, social policy, and socio-legal studies, as well as some aspects of public international law. He is currently working on a monograph concerning the social dimension of the rule of law concept, and engaged with Prof Richard Bellamy in an extended overview of the field of constitutional theory.

View Jeff’s research profile on the UCL IRIS website


  • (with Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, and Graeme Orr) (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2018)).
  • The Doctrine of Odious Debt in International Law: A Restatement (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, 2016).
  • Judging Social Rights (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law, 2012). **Winner, 2014 SLS Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.


Book chapters

  • ‘Dialogue, Legality and Finality’ in Grégoire Webber, Geoffrey Sigalet, and Rosalind Dixon (eds), Constitutional Dialogue: Democracy, Rights, Institutions  (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2018).‘
  • ‘Social Rights in Comparative Constitutional Theory’ in Gary J Jacobsohn and Miguel Schorr (eds), Comparative Constitutional Theory (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2018) (11,000 words)
  • ‘Social Rights as Capstone’ in Katherine Young (ed), The Future of Social Rights (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2018) (15,000 words)
  • ‘Social and Economic Rights in Times of Economic Crisis’ in Stefano Civitarese and Simon Halliday (eds), Social Rights in an Age of Austerity: European Perspectives (Routledge, 2017).
  • ‘The Dark Side of Nudging: The Ethics, Political Economy, and Law of Libertarian Paternalism’ (with Christopher McCrudden) in Alexandra Kemmerer (et. al.) Choice Architecture in Democracies: Exploring the Legitimacy of Nudging (Oxford: Hart Publishing/Nomos, 2016) 67-132 (available here).
  • ‘Three Wrong Turns in Lord Sumption’s Conception of Law and Democracy’ in Nick Barber, Richard Ekins and Paul Yowell (eds), Lord Sumption and the Limits of Law (Hart Publishing, 2015).
  • ‘Parliament’s Role following Declarations of Incompatibility under the Human Rights Act’ in Murray Hunt, Hayley Hooper, and Paul Yowell (eds), Parliaments and Human Rights (Hart Publishing, 2015).
  • ‘American Exceptionalism about Social Rights’ in in Liora Lazarus, Christopher McCrudden and Nigel Bowles (eds), Reasoning Rights: Comparative Judicial Engagement (Hart Publishing, 2014).
  • ‘The Instrumental Value of Legal Accountability’ in Peter Leyland and Nicholas Bamforth (eds), Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • ‘Constitutions as Mission Statements’ in Denis J. Galligan and Mila Versteeg (eds), The Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • with Malcolm Langford, ‘The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ in Malcolm Langford (ed), Social Rights Jurisprudence: Emerging Trends in Comparative and International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009).
  • ‘United Kingdom: Asserting Social Rights in a Multilayered System’ in Malcolm Langford (ed), Social Rights Jurisprudence: Emerging Trends in Comparative and International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009).

Book Reviews

  • ‘Rights and the Rule of Law in Third Way Constitutionalism’ (2014) 30 Constitutional Commentary 101-126 (review of Stephen Gardbaum’s The New Commonwealth Model of Constitutionalism).
  • ‘Poverty and Fundamental Rights, by D. Bilchitz (OUP 2007)’ (2008) Public Law 820-824.

 Blogging (UK Constitutional Law Blog)

Jeff comments on UK constitutional matters frequently through the UK Constitutional Law Blog. In particular, he was co-author of the influential blog “Pulling the Article 50 Trigger: Parliament’s indispensible role”, which argued that the Prime Minister had no power to trigger the Brexit process without an Act of Parliament.  That argument helped motivate and was vindicated by the litigation that followed the referendum, in the case of R (Miller) et. al. v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5.


  • Social Rights and Welfare Reform in Times of Economic Crisis’, Report for the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), (22 July 2014, Doc. No. CDL-LA(2014)002)).
  • Open Letter to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs on Compliance of Canadian Bill C-6 with the UN Cluster Munitions Convention (November 2013), submitted to the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, referenced in the Senate Standing Committee here.
  • Written evidence (February 2013) to the Select Committee (Justice) of the UK House of Commons, on the Abolition of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council, discussed extensively in the Report of the JC (HC 965, 15 March 2013).
  • Written evidence (March 2012) to the Select Committee (Public Administration) of the UK House of Commons on the Abolition of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council, quoted in the Report of the PSAC (HC 1621, 8 March 2012).

Current Teaching

Public Law (Convenor)


Constitutional Theory (Convenor)
Comparative Human Rights Law
Judicial Review

PhD Supervision

Jeff King welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students, and has supervised six successful PhD theses at UCL. He is currently supervising:

  • Pritam Baruah
  • Guillermo Jimenez
  • Daniella Lock
  • Christina Lienen