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Public Law

Second Edition

Mark Elliott and Robert Thomas

April 2014

ISBN: 9780199665181

896 pages

In Stock

Price: £36.99

The leading public law text: ties the subject together with three key themes, alongside sophisticated, engaging analysis.



Public Law integrates coverage of public institutions and legal doctrines with theoretical analysis and explanation of the socio-political context to equip students with an excellent grounding in the subject. It covers all of the key topics found on undergraduate courses and includes themes, case studies, and questions to aid understanding.

  • Coverage of black-letter law is combined with political and theoretical analysis to provide context for students new to the subject, allowing them to understand the background behind all of the key principles and latest developments
  • The book is based around three key themes that provide a structured approach to the subject and help the student to understand the interlinked nature of public law
  • Questions are posed throughout each chapter to encourage active learning and help students to grasp the analytical nature of the subject
  • Clearly reproduced figures provide visual representations of complex concepts and help visual learners to engage with the content
  • The clear and accessible writing style holds students' attention and explains to them how and why the subject is of essential importance to everyday life in the UK

New to this edition

  • Short 'expert commentaries' are included at the end of many chapters, in which a range of leading public law scholars and distinguished figures provide a thought-provoking discussion of the key themes or issues raised in the chapter. These commentaries help students to engage with key issues and provide them with valuable additional perspectives
  • A new chapter on police powers provides a guide for students to the essential aspects of this key topic
  • Fully updated to cover all the latest developments and debates, such as: constitutional developments introduced by the coalition government; the increasingly significant role of select committees; the Leveson inquiry; the referendum on Scottish independence; and the UK's relationship with the European Court of Human Rights. There is also coverage of recent significant cases (AXA, Cart, Chaytor),and legislation (the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the European Union Act 2011, the Public Bodies Act 2011, the Localism Act 2011, the Crime and Courts Act 2013)

About the Author(s)

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

Mark Elliott is Reader in Public Law at the University of Cambridge.

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.: The executive
    5.: Parliament
    6.: The judiciary
    7.: Devolution and local government
    8.: The European Union
    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


Lucid and elegantly written, with an admirable lack of jargon. Lively case studies and the insightful identification of key themes bring the subject to life. An excellent, concise but comprehensive textbook for students. - Dawn Oliver, Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law, University College London

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