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Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Professor Gavin Phillipson, BA, LLM (Cantab)

Professor in Durham Law School
Ref Mentor, Durham Law School
Director of PGR Funding, Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42805
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 42801
Room number: PCL218
Director of the Human Rights Centre

(email at gavin.phillipson@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Gavin Phillipson has held a Chair in Law at the University of Durham since January 2007; he is a qualified solicitor and has been a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne. His research interests lie in the fields of public law, particularly areas of European and UK human rights law, and the interface of those fields with public law and constitutional and political theory. He has published widely in these areas in top UK, US and Canadian journals, including the Modern Law Review, Law Quarterly Review, Current Legal Problems, Cambridge Law Journal, Public Law, McGill Law Journal and Law & Contemporary Problems.

He has published three books, including, with Helen Fenwick, Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act (2006, OUP), a comparative and theoretically-informed treatment of areas of UK media law (favourably reviewed (2007) Public  852-855). A fourth - Debating Hate Speech (with Eric Heinze, Hart) - is forthcoming in 2017. He has given papers by invitation at numerous conferences and seminars overseas, including in Washington, Duke and George Washington Law Schools and the universities of CDPC Université Panthéon-Assas Paris, Toronto, Singapore, Hong Kong, Monash, Melbourne, and UNSW (the latter two as visiting scholar). He has guest-taught comparative privacy law on the LLM programmes of Melbourne, Kings College London and City University, London.

His scholarship on horizontal effect and the development of a common law right to privacy (published in four articles in the Modern Law Review and in the Media Freedom book) has been of particular importance: it has been cited in and influenced judgments of the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords and the New Zealand Court of Appeal, as well as being discussed with approval in a speech by Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court (2012). It was also used by the Media Lawyer’s Association in their intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Von Hannover v Germany (no 2) (2012) (Grand Chamber). In addition he gave evidence by invitation to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions (cited in its 2012 report); he was also asked to comment in 2012 on the DPP’s draft guidance on prosecuting journalists for privacy-related offences and influenced the final form of those guidelines. His evidence to the Law Commission on the areas of Contempt of Court (2013) and Hate Crime (2014) is cited and discussed extensively in he relevant Reports.

Professor Phillipson's work on defamation significantly impacted upon the recent reform of libel law. He was the academic member of the Ministry of Justice Working Group on Libel (2010) and drafted parts of its report. His evidence on the Defamation Bill to the Joint Committee on Human Rights was discussed extensively in the Committee’s Report (Dec 2012) and demonstrably influenced its conclusions. HIs work was also recently cited by the Northern Ireland Law Comimssion report on defamation. The above resulted in an Impact Case Study submitted by Durham University to REF 2014. Recently his work on the development of a new convention on the exercise of the war powers convention has been discussed by Parliament's Political and Constitutional Reform Committee (2014).

He has made frequent contributions to national and international media coverage of the above issues, including in the Telegraph, Sunday Times, Guardian, BBC, Al Jazeera, Christian Science Monitor, Boston’s Chronicle of Higher Education, Norway’s Al Posten, and Denmark’s Politikein. He has been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Unreliable Evidence (2013), Law in Action (2014) and Summer Nights (2013)discussion programmes.

As a Professor, he has carried out four senior management roles: Chair of the LNAT Consortium, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Chair of the Undergraduate Exam Board and, most recently, Deputy Head of School. He has taught a wide range of subjects at both undergraduate and Master’s level. He has supervised eight postgradudate research students to successful completion and is currently supervising three more.

Teaching Areas

  • UK Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Comparative Free Speech Law
  • Comparative Privacy and Defamation
  • Advanced Issues in Public Law
  • European Human Rights Law
  • Media Law

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Gender & Law at Durham
  • Human Rights Centre

Research Projects

Durham Law School

  • Grants

Research Interests

  • Hate Speech and Comparative Free Speech Law
  • Public Law esp constitutional dialogue, bicameralism, constitutional conventions
  • The Human Rights Act, its constitutional significance, judicial deference; horizontal effect.
  • Freedom of Speech and Media Freedom in English law esp defamation law
  • The right to privacy in English law and media freedom; comparative privacy law.
  • Anti-terrorism law and policy and human rights
  • Freedom of public protest, esp direct action.

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Heinze, Eric & Phillipson, Gavin (2017). Debating Hate Speech. Hart Publishing (forthcoming).
  • Phillipson, G. & Fenwick, H.M. (2010). Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights. London: Routledge.
  • Fenwick H.M. & Phillipson G (2006). Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in book

  • Phillipson, G (2016). Press Freedom, the Public Interest and Privacy. In Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law. Kenyon, A Cambridge University Press. 136-63.
  • Phillipson, G (2014). Deference and Dialogue in the Real-World Counter-Terrorism Context. In Critical Debates on Counter-Terrorist Judicial Review. Davis, F & de Londras, F Cambridge University Press. 251-280.
  • Phillipson, Gavin (2013). The Human Rights Act, Dialogue and Constitutional Principles. In The United Kingdom's Statutory Bill of Rights: Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives. Leigh, Ian & Masterman, Roger, Oxford University Press.
  • Phillipson, Gavin (2012). The “global pariah”, the Defamation Bill and the Human Rights Act. In Modern Defamation law: Balancing Reputation and Free Expression. Capper, David, Queens University Belfast Press. 147-90.
  • Phillipson, Gavin. & Fenwick, Helen. (2012). UK counter-terror law post 9/11: initial acceptance of extraordinary measures and the partial return to human rights norms. In Global Anti-Terrorism Law & Policy (2nd ed). Ramraj, V. Hor, M. Roach, K. & Williams, G. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 481-513.
  • Phillipson, Gavin, Hoffman, David & Young, Alison (2011). Introduction. In The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law. Hoffman, David Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Phillipson, Gavin (2011). Privacy: the development of breach of confidence - the clearest case of horizontal effect? In The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law. Hoffman, David Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 136-164.
  • Phillipson, Gavin, & Fenwick, Helen (2011). UK Control Orders as a Counter-Terrorism Strategy: reading down liberty and due-process rights. In Terrorism, Democracy and the Law. Kremnitzer Sieber, Ulrich & Jan-Michael, S Duncker & Humblot, Berlin. forthcoming.
  • Fenwick, Helen. & Phillipson, G. (2008). The Human Rights Act, public protest and judicial activism. In Free to Protest: Constituent Power and Street Demonstration. Sajó, András. Utrecht: Eleven International Publishing. 189-219.
  • Phillipson, G. (2007). 'The Common Law, Privacy and the Convention'. In Judicial Reasoning under the UK Human Rights Act. Fenwick, H.M., Phillipson, G. & Masterman, R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 215-254.
  • Phillipson, G. (2007). Clarity Postponed: Horizontal Effect after Campbell. In Judicial Reasoning under the UK Human Rights Act. Fenwick, H.M., Phillipson, G. & Masterman, R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 143-173.
  • Fenwick, H.M., Masterman, R. & Phillipson, G. (2007). Introduction: The Human Rights Act in contemporary context. In Judicial Reasoning under the UK Human Rights Act. Fenwick, H.M., Phillipson, G. & Masterman, R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1-21.
  • Phillipson, G. (2006). The Right of Privacy in England and Strasbourg compared. In New Dimensions in Privacy Law: International and Comparative Perspectives, Kenyon, A. and Richardson, M. Kenyon, A. T. & Richardson, M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 184-228.
  • Phillipson, G. & Fenwick, H.M. (2005). Legislative Over-breadth, Democratic Failure and the Judicial Response: fundamental rights and the UK's Anti-Terrorist legal policy. In Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy. Ramraj, V. V., Hor, M. & Roach, K. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 455-490.
  • Phillipson, G. (2003). Human Rights and Obligations of Confidentiality in the Private Sphere: A v B Plc in the Court of Appeal. In New Perspectives on Property Law, Human Rights and the Home. Hudson, A. London: Cavendish. 205-215.

Edited book

  • Fenwick, H.M., Phillipson, G. & Masterman, R. (2007). Judicial Reasoning under the UK Human Rights Act. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Article

  • Phillipson, Gavin (2016). A dive into deep constitutional waters: Article 50, the prerogative and parliament. Modern Law Review 79(6): 1064-1089.
  • Phillipson, G. (2013). Leveson, the Public Interest and Press Freedom. Journal of Media Law 5(2): 220-240.
  • Phillipson, Gavin (2012). The “global pariah”, the Defamation Bill and the Human Rights Act. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 63(1): 149-186.
  • Phillipson, Gavin, & Williams, Alexander (2011). 'Horizontal Effect and the Constitutional Constraint'. Modern Law Review 74(6): 878-910.
  • Phillipson, Gavin, & Baker, Aaron (2011). Policing, Profiling and Discrimination Law: US and European Approaches Compared. Journal of Global Ethics 7(1): 105-124.
  • Phillipson, G. (2009). Max Mosley goes to Strasbourg: article 8, claimant notification and interim injunctions. Journal of Media Law 1(1): 73-96.
  • Phillipson, G. (2008). Trial by Media: the Betrayal of the First Amendment’s Purpose. Law and Contemporary Problems 71(4): 15-30.
  • Phillipson, G. (2007). 'Bills of Rights as a threat to human rights: the alleged 'Crisis of Legalism'. Public Law 217-224.
  • Phillipson, Gavin (2007). Deference, Discretion and Democracy in the Human Rights Act Era. Current Legal Problems 60: 40-78.
  • Phillipson, G. & Fenwick, H.M. (2004). 'National Irish Bank v RTE and finding the balance: Breach of Confidence, Privacy and the Public Interest Test in England and Ireland'. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 55(2): 118-153.
  • Phillipson, G (2004). 'The Greatest Quango of them All', 'a rival Chamber' or 'a hybrid nonsense'? Solving the Second Chamber Paradox. Public Law 7: 352-379.
  • Phillipson, G. (2003). '(Mis)-Reading Section 3 of the Human Rights Act'. Law Quarterly Review 119(April): 183-188.
  • Phillipson, G. (2003). 'Judicial Reasoning in Breach of Confidence Cases under the Human Rights Act: not taking privacy seriously?'. European Human Rights Law Review (Supp): 54-72.
  • Phillipson, G. (2003). 'The Powers of a Reformed Second Chamber'. Public Law (Spring): 32-40.
  • Phillipson, G (2003). Transforming Breach of Confidence? Towards a Common Law Right of Privacy under the Human Rights Act. Modern Law Review 66(5): 726-758.
  • Fenwick, Helen. & Phillipson G. (2001). Direct Action, Convention values and the Human Rights Act. Legal Studies 21(4): 535-568.
  • Phillipson, G. & Fenwick, H.M. (2000). 'Breach of Confidence as a Privacy Remedy in the Human Rights Act Era'. Modern Law Review 63(5): 660-693.
  • Phillipson, G. & Fenwick, H.M. (2000). 'Public Protest, the Human Rights Act and Judicial Responses to Political Expression'. Public Law 627-650.
  • Phillipson, G. (1999). 'The Human Rights Act, the Common Law and 'Horizontal Effect':a Bang or a Whimper?'. Modern Law Review 62(6): 824-849.
  • Phillipson, G. & Fenwick, H.M. (1996). 'Privacy and Confidence: A Re-Examination'. Cambridge Law Journal 55(3): 447-455.

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Crime: Anti-Terrorism Law and Human Rights
  • English Law: Anti-Terrorism Law and Human Rights
  • European Law: Anti-Terrorism Law and Human Rights
  • Human rights: Anti-Terrorism Law and Human Rights
  • English Law: Privacy and Press Freedom.
  • European Law: Privacy and Press Freedom.
  • Human rights: Privacy and Press Freedom.
  • Crime: Pornography, Obscenity and the Law
  • English Law: Pornography, Obscenity and the Law
  • European Law: Pornography, Obscenity and the Law
  • Gender and law: Pornography, Obscenity and the Law
  • Human rights: Pornography, Obscenity and the Law
  • Crime: Public Protest, including Direct Action, and Public Order Law
  • English Law: Public Protest, including Direct Action, and Public Order Law
  • European Law: Public Protest, including Direct Action, and Public Order Law
  • Human rights: Public Protest, including Direct Action, and Public Order Law
  • English Law: Reform of the House of Lords
  • Crime: Incitement to hatred on grounds of religious belief and/or sexual orientation.
  • English Law: Incitement to hatred on grounds of religious belief and/or sexual orientation.
  • European Law: Incitement to hatred on grounds of religious belief and/or sexual orientation.
  • Gender and law: Incitement to hatred on grounds of religious belief and/or sexual orientation.
  • Human rights: Incitement to hatred on grounds of religious belief and/or sexual orientation.
  • English Law: The Human Rights Act, civil liberties and the Constitution.
  • European Law: The Human Rights Act, civil liberties and the Constitution.
  • Human rights: The Human Rights Act, civil liberties and the Constitution.
  • English Law: Free speech and freedom of the media generally.
  • European Law: Free speech and freedom of the media generally.
  • Human rights: Free speech and freedom of the media generally.

Supervises