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Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law


Dr Alexander Williams, MA (Cantab) MJur PhD

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

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 the Law School's Director of Undergraduate Admissions, responsible for managing the selection of entrants to the LLB programme. From 2012-2015 Alex was Co-Convenor of the Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section of the Society of Legal Scholars; from 2012-2014 he co-directed the Law School's Human Rights Centre.

Alex's field of expertise is public law and human rights. With Professors Helen Fenwick and Gavin Phillipson he is author of Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights, now in its 4th edition (Routledge, 2016). Much of 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 internationally, and has published in leading peer-reviewed journals. In more recent work Alex has explored Human Rights Act reform and the public-private aspects of the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.

Alex's PhD thesis, Making Sense of the Public-Private Divide, was passed with no corrections by Professors David Feldman QC and Paul Craig QC. He has held visiting research posts at the University of Cambridge, University College London, Queen Mary University London and -- with the aid of a research grant from the Society of Legal Scholars -- the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Research Groups

Human Rights Centre
Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Human Rights Centre
  • Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Research Projects

Durham Law School

  • Grants


Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article


  • Williams, Alexander (2014), 'Human Rights in the UK: the HRA and the European Dimension', Constitutional Futures Workshop. Queen's University Belfast, 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, 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, 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, Manchester.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2011), 'Making Sense of the Public-Private Divide in English Judicial Review', National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi, India, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2010), 'Horizontal Effect and the Constitutional Constraint', Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference (Civil Liberties section). Southampton University, 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, Keele University.

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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