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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Professor William Lucy

Professor in the Durham Law School

Contact Professor William Lucy (email at


William's areas of research expertise are private law and legal philosophy. He arrived at Durham Law School in summer 2012, having previously been a Professor at the Law School, University of Manchester. Before that he had held chairs at Cardiff University, Keele University and the University of Hull Law School (where he was almost the inaugural HK Bevan Professor of Law). He holds an undergraduate degree in law and postgraduate degrees in jurisprudence and in political philosophy. He teaches mainly private law subjects and legal philosophy and has supervised a number of doctoral students in these fields. These are also the principal fields in which he publishes, his first two monographs being Understanding and Explaining Adjudication (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1999) and Philosophy of Private Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press 2007), neither of which is as expensive as you might think. His latest book, Law's Judgement, was published in July 2017 by Hart Publishing and is in part based upon work funded by the Leverhulme Trust (MRF 2012-142). It is also surprisingly good value (for a taster, click here: He has held visiting posts at a number of Universities, including the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Brisbane, the College of Law, Australian National University, Canberra, and the Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal. In January 2014 William was the Rt. Hon. John Turner Fellow in Public Law at the Law School, University of Western Ontario. For Michaelmas term 2014-15, he was a Sir Neil MacCormick Visiting Fellow at Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh. He was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, from April until June 2017, where he pursued work on Access to Justice (for the first published installment of that project, click here: 

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences
  • Durham Centre for Law and Philosophy
  • Human Rights Centre

Research Interests

  • Adjudication and legal reasoning
  • Legal philosophy
  • Philosophy of private law
  • The normative standing of access to justice

Selected Publications


Chapter in book

Journal Article

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Selected Grants

  • 2013: Law's Abstract Judgement (£77686.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)