Tom Hickman

Tom Hickman

MA (Cantab), LLM (Hons) (Toronto), PhD (Cantab)

Reader in Public Law

Tom joined the faculty in October 2012 as a Reader in Public Law. Tom is a graduate of Cambridge University and the University of Toronto and a practising barrister at Blackstone Chambers.

Tom’s book on the Human Rights Act was awarded the Inner Temple Book Prize 2011, new author category, by a panel of senior judges and academics for making an outstanding contribution to legal scholarship. In October 2016 Tom was awarded the Sutherland Prize for Legal History by the American Society for Legal History for his essay on Entick v Carrington and seditious libel in 18th century England.

Tom was co-author of the influential blog “Pulling the Article 50 Trigger: Parliament’s indispensible role”, UK Con. L. Blog, 24 June 2016 which argued that the Prime Minister had no power to trigger the Brexit process without an Act of Parliament. Tom was subsequently instructed as junior Counsel to Gina Millar in the ensuing litigation.

A more recent blog, “Public Law’s Disgrace”, UK Con. L. Blog, 9 Feb 2017, argues that there is a major access to justice problem in judicial review.

In 2012-2014 Tom was a Fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law with co-responsibility with Professor Adam Tomkins for its national security project and the Centre’s responses to the Justice and Security Green Paper and the Justice and Security Bill. Tom gave oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Justice and Security Green Paper in 2012.

As a practising barrister, Tom regularly acts in high profile cases such as AF (No. 3) [2010] 2 AC 269 (fairness in control order cases), R (Binyam Mohamed) [2010] QB 218 (public interest immunity), Lumba (sub nom WL) (Congo) [2012] 1 AC 245 (immigration detention), R (Hewestone & Reilly) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, [2017] QB 657 (retrospective imposition of benefits sanctions).

Tom often blogs on the UK Constitutional Law Group blog and sometimes tweets as well.


Tom’s research interests are in constitutional law and theory, administrative law, human rights, national security law and access to justice.

Tom convenes UCL’s LLM course, Aspects of National Security Law. He also teaches on other courses involving public law and human rights.

Tom is currently working on a project on national security law and adjudication. He is also working on an interdisciplinary project on access to justice in judicial review cases with the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Public Law Project. The project has been awarded small grant funding.

View Tom’s research profile on the UCL IRIS website



Public Law After the Human Rights Act (Hart 2010) Awarded the Inner Temple Book Prize 2008-2011 (new author).

Human Rights: Judicial Protection in the United Kingdom (Sweet & Maxwell 2008) Co-authors: Sir Jack Beatson, Stephen Grosz and Rabinder Singh QC with Stephanie Palmer.


Fox-Decent (2012) 62 University of Toronto Law Journal 133 (review article)

Himsworth (2011) 20(4) Social & Legal Studies 520

James (2011) 21(8) Law & Politics Book Review

Masterman [2001] Public law 651

Gledhill (2011) (June) New Zealand Law Journal

Knight (2010) 69 Cambridge Law Journal 682

Metcalf (2010) 7(2) Justice Journal 82

Marlow (2010) 160 New Law Journal 1160; and reviews by Baroness Hale, Lord Collins, Sir Stephen Sedley, Elias LJ, Sir Francis Reynolds, reproduced in the Inner Temple Yearbook 2012-13

Beloff (2011) Law Quarterly Review 127; Leigh [2010] Public Law 206, Otty (2010) 15(3) Judicial Review 282

Murphy, [2009] EHRLR 721, Greenhall, (2008) 6(2) Justice Journal 66

Articles and Book Chapters

“Adjudicating Constitutional Rights in Administrative law” (2016) UTLJ 66, 122-171

“Revisiting Entick v Carrington: Seditious Libel and State Security Laws in Eighteenth-Century England” Chapter 2 in Entick v Carrington – 250 years of the rule of law (Hart 2015),  A. Tomkins and C. Scott (ed), 43-84

Bill of Rights Reform and the Case for Going Beyond the Declaration of Incompatibility Model” (2015) NZLR (1) 35-71

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act: going beyond declarations” Policy Quarterly (10), November 2014, 39-45

National Security Law and the Creep of Secrecy: A Transatlantic Tale” (with Adam Tomkins) in L. Lazarus, C. McCrudden and N. Bowles, Reasoning Rights Comparative Judicial Engagement (Hart 2014)

‘Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right? The development of the Public Sector Equality Duties in Administrative Law‘ [2013] Public Law 325

‘Negotiable Rights, what Rights?’ [2012] Modern Law Review 437

‘Problems for Proportionality’ [2011] New Zealand Law Review 303

Beano no more: The EU Charter of Rights after Lisbon’ [2011] Judicial Review 131 (with K Beale)

‘Judges and Politicians after the Human Rights Act 1998: A Comment’ [2008] Public Law 84

‘The Substance and Structure of Proportionality’ [2008] Public Law 694

‘Proportionality: Comparative Law Lessons” [2007] Judicial Review 31

‘In Defence of the Legal Constitution’ (2005) 55 University of Toronto Law Journal 981

‘Between Human Rights and the Rule of Law: Indefinite Detention and the Derogation Model of Constitutionalism’ (2005) 68 Modern Law Review 655

‘Constitutional Dialogue, Constitutional Theories and the Human Rights Act 1998’ [2005] Public Law 306

‘The “Uncertain Shadow”: Throwing Light on the Right to a Court under Article 6(1) ECHR’ [2004] Public Law 122

‘The Reasonableness Principle: Reassessing its place in the Public Sphere’ (2004) 63 Cambridge Law Journal 166

‘Tort Law, Public Authorities and the Human Rights Act 1998’ chapter 2, in Fairgrieve, Andenas and Bell (eds.), The Liability of Public Authorities in Comparative Perspective (BIICL: London, 2002)

Other Papers

Written Evidence to the IP Bill Committee (19 April 2016)

Evidence to the Joint Committee on the Investigatory Powers Bill

Elliott, Hickman, McNamara, ‘The response of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to the government’s legal aid proposals’ [2013] Judicial Review 223-236

Hickman & Tomkins, ‘Response to the Security and Justice Green Paper’, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (with Professor Adam Tomkins), 6 Jan 2012  (Bingham Centre website)

Hickman, ‘Minimum Safeguards a briefing paper on the Security and Justice Bill, for the Bingham Centre for the Rule of law’, 5 July 2012 (Bingham Centre website)

Blog posts, case notes and short pieces

“Public Law’s Disgrace” U.K Const. L. Blog 9 Feb 2017

“Pulling the Article 50 Trigger: Parliament’s indispensable role” (with N. Barber and J. King) U.K. Const. L. Blog (27th Jun 2016)

The Investigatory Powers Bill: What’s Hot and What’s Not?” UK Constitutional Law Blog (11 Dec 2015)

Success in Judicial Review: The Current Position” (with M. Sunkin) UK Constitutional Law Blog (20 Mar 2015)

ISIS, Passports and Magna Carta: New National Security Powers raise complex issues” UK Constitutional Law Blog (9 Oct 2014)

‘Further Concerns About the DRIP Bill’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (16 July 2014)

‘Plugging Gaps in Surveillance Laws or Authorising the Unlawful?’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (14 July 2014)

‘Loading the Dice in Judicial Review: the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2014’ (with Ben Jaffey) UK Constitutional Law Blog (6 Feb 2014)

‘The High Court Rides to the Aid of Richard III’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (29 August 2013)

‘Turning out the lights? The Justice and Security Act 2013’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (11 June 2013)

‘Justice and Security Bill: Defeat, or Not a Defeat: That is the Question’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (27 Nov 2012)

‘The Return of Abu Qatada (to the Streets of London)’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (14th Nov 2012)

‘Commercially Relevant – human rights legislation in commercial disputes’ Legal Week 13 July 2012 [Legal Week login required]

‘Where is the “Justice” in the Justice and Security Bill?’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (5 June 2012)

‘Freedom of Expression and the Olympics’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (3 May 2012), also published as ‘Olympic rights and wrongs’ in The Lawyer, (30 April 2012).

‘Data Over-protection’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (10 March 2012)

‘The Bill of Rights Commission and the How Question’ UK Constitutional Law Blog (18 October 2011)

‘The EU Charter of Rights’ Lawyer 2B, Autumn 2010

‘Stop your racist land grab, tribunal tells Robert Mugabe’ The Times, 5 March 2009 [The Times subscription required]

‘Cases on the presumption of innocence and acquittals’ [2003] EHRLR 539 (with Faisal Saifee)

‘Watching Britain burn: can we demand protection from fire?’ [2002] New Law Journal 1863

‘Negligence and Article 6: The Great Escape?’ (2002) 61 Cambridge Law Journal 13

‘Clark: The Demise of O’Reilly Completed?’ [2000] Judicial Review 178

‘And That’s Magic!: Making Public Bodies Liable for Failure to Confer Benefits’ (2000) 59 Cambridge Law Journal 432

Book Reviews

J. Christoffersen & M. Rask Madsen (eds.) OUP 2010, The European Court of Human Rights between Law and Politics [2012] EHRLR 357

Essays in Honour of Michael Taggart; Essays in Honour of Mark Aronson [2010] Judicial Review 393

O. Gross & F. Aoláin, Law in Times of Crisis [2009] Public Law 175

B. Ackerman, Before the Next Attack [2007] Public Law 178

C. Harlow, State Liability – Tort Law and Beyond [2006] Public Law 418

C. Gearty, Human Rights Adjudication [2005] Public Law 210

D. Fairgrieve, State Liability in Tort (2004) 63 Cambridge Law Journal 51

J. Wright, Tort Law and Human Rights (2002) 13 King’s College LJ

Some recent conference papers and seminars

‘Entick v Carrington: Analogues in Modern Law’ talk to the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, September 2015.

‘Bill of Rights Reform: Why New Zealand Should go beyond Britain (Again)’ lecture delivered at the event New Zealand Bill of Rights: A Continuing Conversation, organised by the Law Foundation, Parliament Building Wellington, 3 June 2014.

‘Intelligence Sharing and Human Rights Violations – A challenge for the Rule of Law’ the Stephen Livingstone Lecture at Queen’s University Belfast, 7 November 2013

‘Breakdown in the rule of law? Judicial review and private law claims involving national security issues’, Durham University, Human Rights Centre seminar series, 23 Nov 2012

‘The Legal Limits on Intelligence Sharing’, conference paper, After Bin Laden: Counter-Terrorism Co-operation and International Law, Newcastle University Law School, May 2012

‘Security and Human Rights’, Oxford University BCL seminar with Prof. Amos Guiora, Oxford University, December 2011.

‘Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right: The case law on the equality duties’, Oxford University Public Law Discussion Group, 24 Nov 2011

Convened with Adam Tomkins a workshop on the Justice and Security Green Paper, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, December 2011.

‘State secrets, civil proceedings and the rule of law’ Bingham Centre All Souls workshop on the Rule of Law, September 2011 (with Adam Tomkins)

‘Public Law After the Human Rights Act’, Seminar on LSE European public law seminar programme, February 2011.

‘Procedural obligations under the HRA’ Administrative and Constitutional Law Bar Association Conference, July 2010

‘National Security Law in the UK’ Freiburg Proceedings on Contemporary Security Agendas Against Terrorism, Max Planck Institute, June 2010

‘English developments in judicial review’, Scottish Public Law Association (Edinburgh, June 2010)

Convened with Adam Tomkins a workshop on UK national security law at UCL, Feb 2010

‘Secret Justice’, faculty seminar, University of Toronto, September 2009

Debating Parliamentary Sovereignty with Paul Craig, Dawn Oliver and TRS Allan, Oxford University Law Faculty, 2008