Jonathan Montgomery

Jonathan Montgomery

BA (Hons) (Cantab), LLM (Cantab), HonFRCPCH

Professor of Health Care Law

+44 (0)20 3108 8359

Jonathan Montgomery is Professor of Health Care Law. He joined UCL in 2013. He was consulting editor for Volume 30(1) Medical Professions of Halsbury’s Laws of England (5th ed 2011) and has been one of the General Editors of the Butterworths Family Law Service since 1996.

In addition to his academic work, he has undertaken a number of significant public service roles. These currently include Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (the nearest the UK has to a national bioethics committee), Chair of the Health Research Authority (which protects and promotes the interests of participants, patients and the public in health research and aims to streamline its regulation) and being a member of the panel of advisers to the Morecambe Bay Investigation, due to report in late 2014.

Previous national chair roles include the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (2005-14) and the Human Genetics Commission (2009-12). He served on local NHS boards in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for over twenty years up to March 2013 (fifteen as a chairman). He chaired the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Working Party on a Strategy for Brain Tissue Banking, was a member of the Committee on the Ethical Aspects of Pandemic Influenza and the Organ Donation Taskforce (for its work on presumed consent in 2008). He was a member of the Medical Ethics Committee of the British Medical Association from 2003 to 2008. He has contributed to a wide range of professional guidelines, including:

Local decision-making Competency framework For groups involved in making local decisions about the funding of medicines and treatments in the NHS (National Prescribing Centre, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2012).

Report on the Genetic Testing of Children 2010 (Birmingham: British Society for Human Genetics, 2010).

Public Health Ethics (London: Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 2007).

Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Children (London, British Paediatric Association, 1992).


Jonathan Montgomery is widely recognised as both having redefined his subject area and made a significant contribution to its theoretical understanding. The three principal strands of his approach have been that (a) the subject area is better understood as ‘Health Care Law’ than ‘Medical Law’, (b) the widespread assumption that ‘medical law’ is concerned with subjecting doctors to legal regulation in order to promote ethical goals, misrepresents the practice of law-makers who have mostly sought to integrate professional norms into legal practice and reinforce them rather than challenge them, and (c) that more attention needs to be paid to the need to legitimate legal interventions in health care ethics.

View Jonathan’s research profile on the UCL IRIS website



 Health Care Law (Oxford University Press 1st ed 1997, 2nd ed 2002).

Health Care Choices: Making decisions with children(with Priscilla Alderson), (Institute for Public Policy Research, 1996.

Book Chapters

 Montgomery, J (2014), ‘The British Nuffield Council on Bioethics’, in L Palazzani (ed), Role and Functions of Bioethics Committees, (Italian national Bioethics Committee) 49-64.

Montgomery, J (2013), ‘Strategies of regulation: illustrations from the work of the Human Genetics Commission’, in Flear, Mark L., Farrell, Anne-Maree, Hervey, Tamara K. and Murphy, Therese (eds.), European Law and New Technologies, Oxford, GB, Oxford University Press 103-5.

Montgomery, J (2011), ‘The virtues and vices of professionalism’,   in Professionalism in Mental Healthcare: Experts, Expertise and Expectations, Cambridge University Press, 17-31.

Montgomery, J, The Legitimacy of Medical Law’, in Maclean, S (ed), First Do No Harm: Law Ethics and Medicine, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006, 1-16. (ISBN 0754626148).

Recent Articles

J Montgomery  (2014), ‘Public ethics and faith’, Theology, 117(5), 342-348. doi:10.1177/0040571X14537031

J Montgomery, C Jones, H Biggs, ‘’Hidden law-making in the province of medical jurisprudence’, (2014), 77(3) Modern Law Review 343-378, doi:10.1111/1468-2230.12070

J Russell, T Greenhalgh, H Lewis, I MacKenzie, N Maskrey, J  Montgomery, C O’Donnell, ‘Addressing the ‘postcode lottery’ in local resource allocation decisions: a framework for clinical commissioning groups’, (2013),  106  J R Soc Med 120–123. DOI 10.1177/0141076813479192

J Montgomery, ‘Reflections on the nature of “public ethics”’, (2013), 22(1) Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 9-21.

J. Montgomery, ‘The compleat lawyer – medical law as practical reasoning: doctrine, empiricism and engagement’, (2012), 20(1) Medical Law Review 8-28. (doi:10.1093/medlaw/fwr034).

J. Montgomery, ‘Guarding the gates of St Peter: life, death and law making’, (2011), 31(4) Legal Studies, 644-666. (doi:10.1111/j.1748-121X.2011.00205.x).

J. Montgomery, ‘Law and the Demoralisation of Medicine’,  (2006), 26 Legal Studies 185-210, DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2006.00004.x

Current Teaching


Health Care Law


Law and Governance of Global Health
Bioethics Governance

PhD Supervision

Jonathan welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students.