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Durham Law School

Staff

Professor Thom Brooks, BA, MA, MA, PhD, FAcSS, FHEA, FRHisS, FRSA

Personal web page

Head of School in the Durham Law School
Deputy Chair of the Education Committee, Durham Law School
Head , Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44365
Room number: PCL233
Associate in the Department of Philosophy
Professor, Durham Law School in the School of Government and International Affairs

Contact Professor Thom Brooks (email at thom.brooks@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Thom Brooks is an award-winning author, broadcaster, columnist and policy advisor that regularly appears on television, radio and in print media. His research interests are in ethics, law and public policy.

Brooks is Head of Durham Law School and Professor of Law and Government, an Associate in Department of Philosophy, in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University and columnist for Daily Telegraph, i news, Labour List, New Statesman, The Journal (Newcastle), Sunday Sun and others. Brooks is the founding editor of the Journal of Moral Philosophy. He tweets at @thom_brooks.

Brooks won the University's Faculty of Social Sciences and Health Award for Outstanding Contribution to Media in 2013. Brooks is an award winning teacher winning Lecturer of the Year for his Faculty from Durham Students' Union in 2014, the inaugural Law Teacher of the Year award from Durham Law School in 2015, the University's Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award in 2016, shortlisted for the Northern Law Awards Law Teacher of the Year award in 2015 and winner of the Arizona State University School of Politics and Global Studies Distinguised Alumnus Award for 2017.

Brooks is a member of the Executive Board of the Society of Legal Scholars and formerly an Executive Board member of the Political Studies Association and Philosophy & Law Committee Chair of the American Philosophical Association. He is a Mentor and Senior Common Room (SCR) member of University College and SCR member of Collingwood College and Grey College. Brooks serves as an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Mentor for Durham University academic staff.

Brooks has held visiting appointments at St John's College, Oxford; University of St Andrews; Uppsala University and Yale University. He taught previously at Newcastle University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Historical Society,the Royal Society of Arts and the Higher Education Academy and he is listed in Debrett's People of Today. 

Current Research

Brooks is an award-winning author, broadcaster, columnist and policy advisor appearing frequently in the media, such as on television (BBC One, BBC News, BBC World, ITN, ITV, Sky News, ABC News, Al Jazeera, CNN, CNN International, Deutsche Welle, France 24, Made in Tyne & Wear, NRJ12, RT, WNET, Al Arabiya, CCTV America), radio (BBC Radio 4 (with Andrew Marr), BBC 5 live, BBC local radio, LBC with Nick Ferrari) and print media (Daily ExpressDaily Mail, Daily MirrorDaily Telegraph, EconomistExpress on Sunday, Financial TimesGuardian, Independent and i news, the Newcastle Journal, London Evening StandardMail on Sunday, New York TimesNorthern EchoScotsman, Sun, Sun on Sunday, Sunday MirrorSunday Sun, Sunday TelegraphSunday Times and the Times among many others). Brooks has delivered lectures at 200+ events across the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Greece, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Turkey.

Brooks worked with Labour Party advisors on the 2015 election manifesto and advises on policy. He was a part of the successful re-election campaign team for Phil Wilson MP (Labour) in Sedgefield, a seat formerly held by PM Tony Blair, as communications lead and Brooks continues this work now for the Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party. Brooks is one of only two academics quoted in the Electoral Commission's final report on the EU referendum where UK voters will decide whether or not Britain should remain in: the EC accepted his recommendation to change the referendum's wording.

 Citizenship & Immigration: Brooks published the most authoritative and comprehensive report into the 'Life in the UK' citizenship test available. His research has been noted in the House of Lords here, here and here including a recommendation that he lead a revision of the test. He has also argued for the introduction of a Migration Impacts Reduction Fund and new Citizenship Advisory Group, as well as critiques of the government's recent health surcharge policy. Brooks's work has received widespread media coverage in 300+ newspapers and media outlets including the BBC, Daily ExpressDaily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Huffington PostIndependent, London Evening Standard, Northern Echo, The ScotsmanSunday TimesThe Times, Yorkshire Post and others including Comedy Central, Bright Blue's Centre Write inaugural mazazine and Mock the Week on BBC2 The report launch can be viewed online. Brooks is interviewed regularly about immigration law and policy. Links to research briefings and videos can be found here. Panel interview with Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4 is here. Brooks is a long-time proponent of a Migration Impacts Reduction Fund (see here, here and House of Commons note). Brooks writes columns about immigration for the Daily Telegraph.

 Criminal Law & Sentencing: Brooks publishes widely in punishment and restorative justice with a special focus on criminalization and sentencing policy. His recent book, Punishment (2012), was launched in the Houses of Parliament in May 2013, won Book of the Month from the European Sociological Association, nominated for several prizes and cited in a recent IPPR report. Brooks defends a distinctive "unified theory" of punishment bringing together retributon, deterrence, rehabilitation and restoration into a coherent, penal theory. His unified theory of punishment is identified by Research Councils UK as one of the top 100 Big Ideas for the Future , and he is quoted on criminal justice policy in the Labour Party's policy consultation which serves as a foundation for the 2015 campaign manifesto. Brooks has also defended "punitive restoration" as an attempt to increase public confidence while aiding crime reduction through embedding restorative justice into the criminal justice more substantially and with more teeth. This work is featured by the think tank Demos. Listen to an interview about his book with New Books in Philosophy. Brooks's research is quoted in the "watershed" case State v. Santiago (Santiago II), 318 Conn. 1, 105 (2015) rendering the capital punishment unconstitutional in his native state of Connecticut. Brooks is currently writing a book tentatively entitled Beyond Retribution: The Unified Theory of Punishment which develops a compelling new model for sentencing. He regularly discusses criminal justice and sentencing policy in the media. His work on jury trials is cited in U.S. v. Polizzi (E.D.N.Y. 2008). Brooks is a member of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) North East Community Involvement Panel.

 Global Justice and Human Rights: Brooks is editor of The Global Justice Reader (2008), the leading anthology in the field and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Global Justice forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Brooks is completing a comprehensive and innovative new book, Global Justice: An Introduction, that further develops his distinctive defence of justice as stakeholding with roots in ideas about recognition and the capabilities approach. Brooks also contributed to the Newcastle Fairness Commission Report (2011) for Newcastle City Council.

 Legal and Political Philosophy: Brooks writes widely in this area with special interests in Hegel and British Idealism, multiculturalism and a longstanding interest in Indian philosophy. His most recent book is Hegel's Political Philosophy: A Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Right 2d (2013) and co-editor of Rawls's Political Liberalism (with Martha C. Nussbaum) (2015). Brooks's Inaugural Lecture ("Why Hegel Matters") was delivered in Durham Castle in 2014. He has also delivered a brief video on the importance of the Magna Carta for political theorists here. And his work on Hegel has been used to create a ranking of scotches(!).

Please see his curriculum vitae for further details.

Research Supervision

Teaching Areas

  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence & Criminal Process
  • Immigration Law & Policy
  • Jurisprudence
  • Legal Frontiers (Law, Public Policy & Public Advocacy)
  • Political Philosophy
  • Sentencing Law & Policy
  • UK Constitutional Law

Video / Audio Podcasts

David Cameron's proposed EU reforms on BBC News (video)

On claims Prime Minister scaremongering on border security at Calais on BBC News (video)

On US election campaign on Sky News (video)

Calais migrant crisis: Is France doing everything it can? (video)

Migration and Citizenship with Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4 (January 2016) (audio)

Interview with ABC News about UK's EU Referendum and Brexit (video)

The 'Life in the United Kingdom' Test: Is It Unfit for Purpose? (June 2013) (video)

Interview with Thom Brooks about Obama touts legacy in last State of the Union (January 2016) (video)

Panel interview on Syrian crisis and EU migration on "Inside Story" - Al Jazeera (video)

Live panel interview about 'Chaos in Kos' on "Inside Story" - Al Jazeera (video)

Live panel interview about Calais refugee crisis on "Inside Story" - Al Jazeera (video)

Live interview about Calais refugee crisis (August 2015) - RT (video)

Live interview about EU refugee crisis (August 2015) - RT (video)

Post-election analysis of 2015 General Election - ABC News (May 2015) (video)

Interview with Prof Robert Talisse about Thom Brooks's monograph Punishment (2012) for 'New Books in Philosophy' (audio)

Research Interests

  • Asylum and Refugee Law
  • Behavioural Economics
  • British Politics
  • Capabilities
  • Citizenship
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law
  • Global Justice & Human Rights
  • Immigration Law & Policy
  • Jurisprudence
  • Political Philosophy
  • Public Policy
  • Restorative Justice
  • Sentencing
  • Stakeholder Theory
  • Strategic Communication

Selected Grants

  • 2015: Reforming the 'Life in the UK' test (£2660.00 from ESRC)
  • 2007: Hegel's Speculative Politics: Towards a Systematic Reading of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (£20,586 AHRC)

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Brooks, Thom (2016). Punitive Restoration: Giving the Public a Say on Sentencing. In Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration. Dzur, Albert, Loader, Ian & Sparks, Richard Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  • Brooks, Thom (2015). Leadership and Stakeholding. In Leadership and Ethics. Boaks, Jacqueline & Levine, Michael Bloomsbury Academic. 199-201.
  • Brooks, Thom (2015). The Capabilities Approach and Political Liberalism. In Rawls's Political Liberalism. Brooks, Thom & Nussbaum, Martha C. New York: Columbia University Press. forthcoming.
  • Brooks, Thom (2014). Alcohol, Risk and Public Policy. In Alcohol and Public Policy. Brooks, Thom London: Routledge. 27-33.
  • Brooks, Thom (2014). Ethical Citizenship and the Stakeholder Society. In Ethical Citizenship: British Idealism and the Politics of Recognition. Brooks, Thom Palgrave Macmillan. 125-138.
  • Brooks, Thom (2014). Political Philosophy. In G. W. F. Hegel: Key Concepts. Baur, Michael Routledge. 76-90.
  • Brooks, Thom (2013). Bernard Williams, republicanism, and the liberalism of fear problems and prospects. In The moral philosophy of Bernard Williams. Herrera, C. D. & Perry, Alexandra Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. 107-113.
  • Brooks, Thom (2013). Capabilities. In The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. LaFollette, Hugh Blackwell. 692-698.
  • Brooks, Thom (2013). Citizenship. In The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. LaFollette, Hugh Blackwell. 764-773.
  • Brooks, Thom (2013). Criminal Harms. In Law and Legal Theory. Brooks, Thom Leiden: Brill. 149-161.
  • Brooks, Thom (2013). Global Justice and Politics. In The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy. Fred D'Agostino & Jerry Gaus Routledge. 517-525.
  • Brooks, Thom (2012). Between Statism and Cosmopolitanism: Hegel and the Possibility of Global Justice. In Hegel and Global Justice. Buchwalter, Andrew Dordrecht: Springer. 65-83.
  • Brooks, Thom (2012). Hegel and the Unified Theory of Punishment. In Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Brooks, Thom Oxford: Blackwell. 103-123.
  • Brooks, Thom (2012). Natural Law Internalism. In Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Brooks, Thom Oxford: Blackwell. 167-179.
  • Brooks, Thom (2011). Retribution and Capital Punishment. In Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Policy. White, Mark D. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 232-245.
  • Brooks, Thom (2011). What Did the British Idealists Ever Do for Us? In New Waves in Ethics. Brooks, Thom Palgrave Macmillan. 28-47.
  • Brooks, Thom (2010). Punishment and British Idealism. In Punishment and Ethics: New Perspectives. Ryberg, Jesper & Corlett, J. Angelo Palgrave Macmillan. 16-32.
  • Brooks, Thom (2009). Muirhead, Hetherington, and Mackenzie. In The Moral, Social and Political Philosophy of the British Idealists. Sweet, Will Imprint Academic. 209-232.
  • Brooks, Thom (2008). Is Plato's Political Thought Anti-Democratic. In Anti-Democratic Thought. Kofmel, E Imprint Academic. 17-33.
  • Brooks, Thom (2007). Human Rights. In Encyclopedia of Governance. Bevir, Mark SAGE. 1: 423-428.
  • Brooks, Thom (2006). The Reception of Hegel in Britain. In The Encyclopedia of British Philosophy. Grayling, AC & Pyle, Andrew Thoemmes Continuum. 1424-1425.
  • Brooks, Thom (2005). Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart. In Dictionary of Twentieth Century British Philosophers. Brown, Stuart Thoemmes Continuum. 389-391.
  • Brooks, Thom & Freyenhagen, Fabian (2005). Introduction. In The Legacy of John Rawls. Brooks, Thom & Freyenhagen, Fabian Continuum. 1-21.

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Newspaper/Magazine Article

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