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Public Law

Second Edition

John Stanton and Craig Prescott

June 2020

ISBN: 9780198852278

792 pages

In Stock

Price: £34.99

The only public law text to take a practical approach to the subject, applying the law to real life without sacrificing theoretical depth.



With its fresh, modern approach and unique combination of practical application and theoretically critical discussion, Public Law guides students to a clear understanding of not only the fundamental principles of the subject, but how they are relevant in everyday life.

  • Combines clear, easy-to-follow explanations of the fundamental principles of public law with theoretically critical consideration of the key areas of debate
  • Thoroughly modern, the textbook takes account of the numerous recent developments in the subject area, seamlessly integrating coverage of the most recent developments into that of more traditional, orthodox concepts
  • Takes a fresh and distinctively practical approach, using convincing real life scenarios and learning features to engage students, setting the law into an everyday context, and to help them develop critical analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Perfectly-pitched for undergraduates: the book's contents and approach aligns neatly with that of the majority of public law courses, covering all the key areas but never over-simplifying
  • Provides thorough coverage of administrative law, considering access to and the three grounds for judicial review in discrete chapters
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • Fully updated to cover the implications of Brexit, looking in particular at the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the status of retained EU law in domestic legislation
  • Thorough analysis of the impact of R (on the application of Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry and others v Advocate General for Scotland (2019) in the context of parliamentary sovereignty, the separation of powers, judicial control of the exercise of prerogative powers, and the principle of justiciability
  • Expanded coverage of common law constitutionalism, devolution (Re UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill and Re Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's application for judicial review), and local government
  • Updated coverage of cabinet collective responsibility and the updated ministerial code
  • Explanation of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 and the Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019
  • Discussion of recent judicial review cases, including R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal and others (2019) and R (D and Others) v Parole Board (2018)

About the Author(s)

John Stanton, Senior Lecturer in Law, The City Law School, City, University of London, and Craig Prescott, Lecturer in Law, Bangor University

Dr John Stanton is Senior Lecturer in Law at The City Law School, City, University of London, specializing in localism and comparative constitutional law. He has considerable experience researching and teaching public law, and has also worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Malta. John is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the UK Constitutional Law Association and the Political Studies Association.

Dr Craig Prescott is a Lecturer in Law at Bangor University. He specialises in Parliament, the future of the monarchy, and the constitutional implications of Brexit. Craig frequently appears in the media discussing politics and constitutional issues, and he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the UK Constitutional Law Association, and the Study of Parliament Group.

Table of Contents

    1:The UK constitution
    2:The institutions of government and the separation of powers
    3:The rule of law
    4:Parliamentary sovereignty
    5:Parliamentary sovereignty, the European Union, and Brexit
    6:The royal prerogative and constitutional conventions
    7:Central government
    9:Devolution and local government
    10:Judicial review: access to review and remedies
    11:Judicial review: illegality
    12:Judicial review: irrationality and proportionality
    13:Judicial review: procedural impropriety
    14:Administrative justice: tribunals, ombudsmen, and public inquiries
    15:The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998
    16:Human rights in the UK: public order and police powers


"Review from previous edition An excellent introductory text to the UK's constitutional arrangements. It provides a clear and engaging overview of the subject." - Dr Robert Taylor, University of Aberdeen

"Public Law provides clear, accessible coverage of all the necessary material but manages to give it depth by providing interesting examples, counterpoints, and inspiration for further thought and debate. It is challenging, but in a very positive way." - Dr Tobias Kliem, Oxford Brookes University

"This is a brave and very effective attempt to reinvigorate the subject matter and provide analytical depth within an introductory textbook. The writing style is excellent and the practical scenarios will certainly help students develop the skills they need." - Jonathan Finn, Aston University

"This is a very impressive book, clearly written, giving balanced coverage of different theoretical perspectives and containing just the right amount of detail for undergraduate LLB students." - John Kelly, University of Lincoln

"Written in a clear, accessible style and pitched at just the right level for LLB students, this is a valuable addition to the texts on constitutional and administrative law." - Dr Edel Hughes, Middlesex University, London

"This comprehensive and very engaging textbook has a great set of supporting materials, including well-chosen cases, and takes a thoughtful, critical approach." - Dr David Yuratich, Royal Holloway, University of London

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources
This second edition is supported by online resources and is available for students or institutions to purchase in a variety of digital formats.

  • The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks
  • Online resources to support the book feature guidance on approaching and analysing the real life scenarios in the book, a bank of multiple choice questions, legal updates, and links to useful material elsewhere on the web.

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