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Public Law

Public Law
Practice Area: Administrative Law
ISSN: 0033-3565
Published by: Sweet & Maxwell
Subscription Information: Any Time Start
Format: Journal
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Call for Guest Editors of Public Law’s Annual Themed Analysis Section:

The Editorial Committee of Public Law invites Guest Editors to submit proposals for a themed set of ‘analysis’ papers to be published in April 2023. More information...

Since its creation in 1956 Public Law has been, and continues to be, the leading forum for information and debate in the constantly evolving area of law and government.

Digests and commentary on cases and legislation ensure the reader is fully up-to-date with recent developments, while scholarly articles explore leading issues in depth. It is indispensable for both practitioners and those involved with the study of constitutional and administrative law in the UK and abroad.
  • Topical commentary on recent developments;
  • Authoritative articles by leading scholars and practitioners;
  • Digests of decisions and legislation;
  • Reviews and listings of articles and publications of interest.

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Public Law is peer-reviewed and seeks to publish research-based work of the highest quality. The journal publishes work across the whole range of scholarship in constitutional and administrative law, including doctrinal analysis, empirical and other socio-legal work, history, comparative studies and legal theory. The Editorial Committee is committed to Public Law reflecting the diversity and range of the discipline, and welcomes contributions from colleagues at all stages of their careers. 

Public Law is published four times a year: in January, April, July and October. Its readership includes academics, practitioners and policy-makers in the UK, Europe and in common law jurisdictions around the world. Submissions are invited for two sections of the journal: the Analysis section contains shorter items, while the Articles section contains more in-depth contributions.

It is recommended to all contributors that they contact the Editor before making a formal submission in order to receive guidance about timing and to be warned of any overlap with work of other authors that may already be in the pipeline.

Public Law accepts articles of up to 12,000 words. Pieces in the Analysis section are normally up to 4,000 words in length. Both of these wordcounts are inclusive of footnotes. Careful attention should be paid to the preferred word lengths for the Analysis and Articles sections.

Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and numbered consecutively throughout the text with superscript Arabic numerals. Wherever relevant and appropriate, reference should be made in footnotes to previous articles that have appeared in Public Law. 

In preparing typescripts, authors should conform to the journal's House Style. Please follow the format used in a recent issue of Public Law; a style sheet is available here.

Articles should be accompanied by an abstract of up to 300 words. Both articles and analysis pieces should be accompanied by up to five keywords.

Authors should provide their biographical information in the form in which they wish it to appear in Public Law. Submission of Articles or other contributions will be held to imply that they contain original, unpublished work and are not being submitted for publication elsewhere. No liability is accepted for loss or damage to material submitted.

The Editors request that formal submissions be made via email to public.law@durham.ac.uk. Please include the words "Submission to Public Law" in the subject line. Contributions should be in Word format.
Review process:
An initial assessment is carried out by the Editors, usually within two weeks of receipt of a submission. At this stage some submissions are rejected because of overlap with other submissions in the pipeline, or because the subject matter falls outside the scope of the journal, or the Editors feel that the submission clearly falls below the quality threshold for publication.

Potentially publishable submissions are subject to anonymous review by members of the Editorial Committee or other experts in the field. The review process is designed to be a positive experience for authors. Whether or not a submission is accepted for publication, it is the aim of the reviewers to give helpful guidance on how the presentation or content of a submission could be developed. The reviewers do their best to reach a conclusion within six weeks of submissions although, in some cases, the process may take longer. 

Reviewers will look in particular at three aspects – they will consider: i) the quality and originality of the piece; ii) whether the piece will be of interest to readers of Public Law; and iii) the overall importance of the piece.

Proofs will be sent to authors as a PDF file by email and corrections must be returned without delay.

Complimentary copies and off-prints:
Complimentary copies: Two complimentary copies of the issue in which their article appears will be provided to each contributor

Off-prints: Information on offprints will be made available to authors on acceptance of their contributions

Contributors must supply their full contact details for further correspondence and are responsible for complying with the house style guide before making a submission.


With effect from the January 2021 issue of the journal, Professor Roger Masterman and Professor Aileen McHarg, both of Durham University, will take over as joint general editors.  Authors wishing to submit articles and analysis pieces for inclusion in Public Law should email public.law@durham.ac.uk

Roger Masterman
Professor of Constitutional Law, Durham University
Aileen McHarg
Professor of Public Law and Human Rights, Durham University

Deputy Editors
Kirsty Hughes
Associate Professor, University of Cambridge
Chris Knight

Book Review Editor
Naomi Creutzfeldt
Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Westminster.

Current Survey Editor
Lee Marsons
University of Essex
Sarah Nason
Lecturer in Administration Law and Jurisprudence, Bangor University.

International Survey Editor
Shona Wilson Stark
Senior Lecturer in Public Law, University of Cambridge

Editorial Assistant
Chris McCartney

Editorial Committee
Gordon Anthony
Professor of Public Law, Queen's University, Belfast; Barrister-at-Law.
Richard Clayton QC
Ely Place Chambers.
Richard Cornes
University of Essex.
Dr Naomi Creutzfeldt
Reader in Socio-Legal Studies, University of Westminster
Erin Delaney,
Professor of Law, Northwestern University.
Aileen Kavanagh
Professor of Constitutional Governance, Trinity College Dublin.
Jeff King
Professor of Law, University College London.
David Mead
Professor of UK Human Rights Law, University of East Anglia.
Caroline Morris
Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary, University of London.
Helen Mountfield QC
Barrister, Matrix Chambers; Principal, Mansfield College, Oxford.
Dr Jo Eric Khushal Murkens
Associate Professor of Law, London School of Economics and Political Sciences.
Gavin Phillipson,
Professor of Law, University of Bristol.
The Rt Hon Lord Justice Singh
Court of Appeal, President of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal
Maurice Sunkin QC (Hon) 
Professor of Public Law and Socio Legal Studies, University of Essex.
Karen Yeung
Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow in Law, Ethics and Informatics, Birmingham Law School.
Alison L. Young
Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law, Robinson College, University of Cambridge.
Shona Wilson Stark
Lecturer in Public Law, University of Cambridge


4 issues per annum.

Annual subscriptions for this title commence with the first issue to be published after receipt of your order and runs for 12 months.

All Calendar Year and Any Time Start (ATS) subscriptions are subject to a continuous subscription agreement. This means that your subscriptions will automatically renew in future years, unless you tell us otherwise.

Before each renewal period we will send you an annual subscription statement to enable you to review your subscriptions. You must tell us about any changes within 30 days of the subscription statement date after which you will be invoiced and your subscription(s) will continue for a further year.




The Public Law Journal is included in the following indexing and abstracting services:
  • Legal Journals Index on Westlaw UK
  • Articles Index from Lawtel


Sample Issue


Table of Contents


Recommend this Journal to your library using our Library Requisition Form.


Visit our dedicated Public Law website at https://www.sweetandmaxwell.co.uk/public-law/index.aspx


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Editorial correspondence:
Roger Masterman and Aileen McHarg, (From Issue 1 2021)
Durham Law School,
Durham University,
Palatine Centre, 
Stockton Road,
DH1 3LE.
Tel: 0191 334 2800. 

Book Review Editor:
Caroline Morris
Reader in Public Law
The School of Law
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS
Tel: 020 7882 5915
Correspondence to the publisher:
Katy Sadat
Thomson Reuters
5 Canada Square
Canary Wharf
E14 5AQ
House Editor:
Jane Hyatt
Sweet & Maxwell
The Hatchery
Hall Bank Lane
Hebden Bridge
West Yorkshire HX7 5HQ
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