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Public Law

Third Edition

Mark Elliott and Robert Thomas

May 2017

ISBN: 9780198765899

984 pages

In Stock

Price: £38.99

The market-leading public law text: uses three key themes to tie the subject together with style and flair.



Public Law covers the essential topics of undergraduate public law modules in an insightful and interesting way. The authors capture the vibrant nature of public law in practice and the key contemporary debates in the field.

  • The fresh, direct and clear writing style enables students to really understand the fundamentals of the subject while also encouraging them to engage with difficult issues and debates
  • The book guides students through three key themes in order to demonstrate how the many strands of public law are interlinked
  • Practical examples are used throughout to show students how this subject is of essential importance to everyday life in the UK
  • Questions are posed throughout each chapter to encourage students to get to grips with the contentious nature of the subject
  • The authors use figures throughout the book to clearly explain complex concepts

New to this edition

  • Every chapter has been thoroughly updated and many parts have been completely rewritten. The chapter on 'The European Union and Brexit' in particular has been reworked and now focuses on understanding what the constitutional legacy of EU membership will be after Brexit
  • The 'expert commentary' feature has been expanded and is now included at the end of every chapter to allow students to see the debates within each subject area first-hand
  • The authors have increased the number of figures and tables used throughout in order to help explain complex concepts
  • New-look text design to draw out helpful learning features and make the text easier to navigate

About the Author(s)

Mark Elliott, Professor of Public Law, University of Cambridge, and Robert Thomas, Professor of Public Law, University of Manchester

Mark Elliott is Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge. He is also the author of the popular blog www.publiclawforeveryone.com which offers his personal views on key developments in public law.

Robert Thomas is Professor of Public Law at the University of Manchester

Table of Contents

    Part I: Introduction to Public Law
    1.: Constitutions and constitutional law
    2.: Themes, sources, and principles
    Part II: The Constitution - Institutions and Principles
    3.: Separation of powers - an introduction
    4.: UK central government
    5.: The UK Parliament
    6.: The judiciary
    7.: Devolution and the territorial constitution
    8.: The European Union and Brexit
    Part III: Good Governance - Scrutiny, Accountability, and Transparency
    9.: Good governance: an introduction
    10.: Parliamentary scrutiny of central government
    Part IV: Judicial Review
    11.: Judicial review - an introduction
    12.: The grounds of judicial review
    13.: Judicial review - scope, procedures, and remedies
    14.: The effectiveness and impact of judicial review
    Part V: Administrative Justice
    15.: Ombudsmen and complaints
    16.: Tribunals
    17.: Inquiries
    Part VI: Human Rights
    18.: Human rights and the UK constitution
    19.: Freedom of expression
    20.: Freedom of assembly
    21.: Policing - powers, accountability, and governance


"Elliott and Thomas' Public Law has quickly established itself as a modern classic. It delivers depth and breadth while remaining accessible to those coming to public law for the first time." - Professor Jeff King, University College London

"This is an excellent book which our students enjoy using. It explains issues well without dumbing down and engages with debate in a way which encourages students to form their own views." - Chloe Wallace, Associate Professor, University of Leeds

"The expert commentaries are excellent, not least in that they occasionally challenge the views of the authors, introducing students to the practices of academic debate." - Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

"The authors have a style and flair that is extremely impressive yet the book remains easy to understand and the information is clear and uncomplicated." - Staci Quinn, Law Student, Liverpool John Moores University

"It is very readable and the authors have a very approachable writing style. I genuinely enjoyed reading it." - Jacie Tan Cheng Hwee, Law Student, University of Warwick

Additional Resources

This book is accompanied by an online resource centre which includes:

- Updates from the authors to help students keep up-to-date with this fast-moving subject
- Multiple choice questions with instant feedback to allow students to test themselves
- Suggested answers to the many questions posed throughout the book to help students get to grips with the key debates and issues
- A library of weblinks and advice on which websites students should use when planning their own research
- Online versions of the diagrams featured in the book

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