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Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law


Dr Alexander Williams, MA (Cantab) MJur PhD

Lecturer in Durham Law School
Undergraduate Admissions Director, Durham Law School
Member of the Human Rights Centre

(email at

Qualifications and Previous Experience

Alex Williams holds degrees from Cambridge (BA, 2003-2006; MA, 2010) and Durham (MJur, 2007-2008; PhD, 2008-2012) universities. He became a Lecturer in Law at Durham in 2010, having been a Graduate Teaching Assistant from 2008 during his PhD. He is also Co-Convenor of the Civil Liberties Section of the Society of Legal Scholars and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. From 2012-2014 he was Co-Director of Durham’s Human Rights Centre; from 2011-2014 he was the Law School’s Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, responsible for managing the selection of entrants to the LLB programme.

Alex's field of expertise is public law and human rights. With Professors Helen Fenwick and Gavin Phillipson, he is author of the forthcoming edition of Public Law and Human Rights: Text, Cases and Materials (Routledge, 2015). His research examines the public-private divide, with an emphasis on the Human Rights Act 1998, domestic judicial review and the horizontal effect of constitutional rights. On these topics he has presented a number of papers, both in the UK and abroad, and has published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as the Modern Law Review and Public Law. His PhD thesis, Making Sense of the Public-Private Divide, was passed with no corrections by Professors David Feldman QC and Paul Craig QC. In 2013 Alex was a Visiting Fellow at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law School, Sydney.

Alex is on research leave during 2014-15 but welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate students interested in researching public law and/or human rights topics.

Research Groups

Human Rights Centre
Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Teaching Interests

The Individual and the State
Advanced Issues in Public Law
Legal Skills
Law and Medicine (2008-2009)
UK Constitutional Law (2007-2008)

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Human Rights Centre
  • Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Research Projects

Durham Law School

  • Grants


Books: sections

  • Williams, Alexander (with Phillipson, Gavin). (2010). 'Devolution'. In Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights. Helen Fenwick & Gavin Phillipson London: Routledge. 232-294.

Conference papers

  • Williams, Alexander (2014), 'Human Rights in the UK: the HRA and the European Dimension', Constitutional Futures Workshop. Queen's University Belfast.
  • Williams, Alexander (2014), 'The Scope of Judicial Review and the Meaning of a Public Function: Source or "Nature" of Power?', National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law.
  • Williams, Alexander (2013), 'The Bill of Rights Commission’s Final Report and the meaning of public authority’, Durham/Newcastle/SLS research symposium, ‘The Bill of Rights Commission’s Report: Where Are We Now?’, Durham Law School.
  • Williams, Alexander (2013), 'The Scope of Judicial Review', Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales Law School.
  • Williams, Alexander (2012), 'Making sense of the public-private divide: a radical return to orthodoxy', Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference (Civil Liberties section). University of Bristol.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2012), 'The nature of public authority under the Human Rights Act', Panel discussion at launch of D. Hoffman (ed), The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law (CUP, 2011). Manchester, UK.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2011), 'Making Sense of the Public-Private Divide in English Judicial Review', National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi, India.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2010), 'Horizontal Effect and the Constitutional Constraint', Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference (Civil Liberties section). Southampton University.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2009), 'Strasbourg Jurisprudence and Hybrid Public Authorities under the HRA 1998: Introducing Chameleonic Horizontal Effect', Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference (Civil Liberties section). Keele University.

Essays in edited volumes

Journal papers: academic

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Human rights: particularly, Human Rights Act 1998 and European Convention on Human Rights
  • Law & Crime: public, constitutional and administrative law

Selected Grants

  • 2013: £2266, Society of Legal Scholars Research Activity Fund


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