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Public Law Directions

Second Edition

Anne Dennett

July 2021

ISBN: 9780198870579

536 pages

In Stock


Price: £37.99

This is the most student-friendly guide to the subject; empowering students to evaluate the law, understand its practical application, and approach assessments with confidence.



A considered balance of depth, detail, context, and critique, Public Law Directions offers the most student-friendly guide to the subject; empowering students to evaluate the law, understand its practical application, and approach assessments with confidence.

  • Gain a complete understanding of the topic: we won't overload or leave your students short, just the right amount of detail conveyed clearly
  • Understand the law in context: with scene-setting introductions and highlighted case extracts, the practical importance of the law becomes clear
  • Identify when and how to evaluate the law critically: we'll introduce the key areas of debate and give your students the confidence to question the law
  • Direct and consolidate their knowledge: visually engaging learning and self-testing features aid understanding and help your students tackle assessments with confidence
  • Elevate their learning: with the ground-work in place your students can aspire to take their learning to the next level, the author provides direction on going further
  • 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 latest developments in public law, including the impact of the Miller I and Miller/Cherry cases and their significance for constitutional principles, the use of delegated legislation in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, and potential constitutional reform in the future
  • Chapter 4 contains recent developments on devolution, including the Scottish Continuity Bill case
  • A new chapter considers the pre- and post-Brexit legal landscape, as well as the process of withdrawing from the EU, and includes discussion of the impact of Brexit on the devolved administrations
  • Analysis of the significant decision in R (Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22 in relation to the rule of law and ouster clauses
  • Discusses issues arising from coronavirus legislation particularly the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the use of secondary legislation to implement restrictions
  • A revised chapter on the legislature examines membership, privileges and standards in the House of Commons and House of Lords
  • Analysis of the Miller/Cherry case across a range of topics especially in relation to prerogative powers
  • Recent significant judicial review cases are discussed, including R (Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal (2019), R (Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ltd) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (2020), R (Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport (2020), Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Johnson (2020), Elgizouli v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020), and In the matter of an application by Geraldine Finucane for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) (2019).
  • The chapter on police powers has been updated to include recent cases including Catt v UK (2019), Beghal v UK (2019), Gaughran v UK (2020), R (Edward Bridges) v Chief Constable of South Wales (2020) and R (Jones & Others) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (2019).

About the Author(s)

Anne Dennett, Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln

Table of Contents

    Part 1: The UK Constitution
    1:Introducing constitutions and public law
    2:How the UK constitution has developed
    3:The features and sources of the UK constitution
    4:How the UK is organised
    Part 2: Important Constitutional Principles and Values
    6:Parliamentary sovereignty
    7:Separation of powers
    8:Rule of law
    9:Constitutional rights and principles
    Part 3: The Allocation of Power in the UK: the Three Arms of State
    10:The legislature: membership, privileges, and standards
    11:The key functions of Parliament
    12:The executive
    13:The judiciary
    Part 4: The Relationship Between the Individual and the State
    14:Challenging government action
    15:Introduction to judicial review
    16:Judicial review: grounds and remedies
    17:The Human Rights Act 1998
    18:Human rights in action
    19:Police powers


"Review from previous edition There is no textbook on the market that approaches the subject like this one does. This is an excellent book and will be welcomed by lecturers of public law who find it hard to enthuse students about this subject. The author has not only paid attention to the content but also to the teacher and student, and this is much appreciated." - Nirmala Pillay, Reader in Law, Leeds Beckett University

"This is a really student-friendly book which makes public law appear manageable and understandable." - Josie Kemeys, Lecturer in Law, University of Worcester

"There is something novel about this textbook. The chapters are refreshing in terms of content and style. I really like all the references to current affairs. These are excellent and make the chapters really stand out." - Annalisa Meloni, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of East London

"The book is pitched to the right level for students who are new to public law. It is simpler and easier to read than many of the existing textbooks without compromising on content." - Sylvie Bacquet, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Westminster

"This textbook provides a good foundation, but also goes into more detail on key issues. It does not shy away from critical consideration of knotty problems." - Thomas E Webb, Lecturer in Law, Lancaster University

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Public Law Directions is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.
· 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
· The online resources include self-test questions with instant feedback, guidance on answering the questions from the book, updates on the law, and flowcharts with audio.

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