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Durham Law School


Dr Alexander Williams, MA (Cantab) MJur PhD (Dunelm)

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

(email at

Qualifications and Previous Experience

Alex Williams holds degrees from the universities of Cambridge (BA, 2003-2006; MA, 2010) and Durham (MJur, 2007-2008; PhD, 2008-2012). 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-Director of Durham’s Human Rights Centre, Co-Convenor of the Civil Liberties Section of the Society of Legal Scholars and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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, 2014). 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. He has presented a number of papers on these topics, both in the UK and abroad, and has published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Public Law and the Modern Law Review. His PhD thesis, Making Sense of the Public-Private Divide, was examined by Professors David Feldman QC (Cambridge) and Paul Craig QC (Oxford). He passed with no corrections. During July 2013 Alex was a Visiting Fellow at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law School, Sydney. The trip was funded by a research grant from the Society of Legal Scholars.

During the 2013-2014 academic year Alex is teaching on the Individual and the State, Advanced Issues in Public Law and Legal Skills courses.

Research Groups

Human Rights Centre
Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Teaching Interests

The Individual and the State
Advanced Issues in Public Law (module convenor)
Legal Skills

Law and Medicine (2008-2009)
UK Constitutional Law (2007-2008)

Selected Grants

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


Books: authored

  • Fenwick, Helen, Phillipson, Gavin & Williams, Alexander (2013). Public Law and Human Rights: Text, Cases and Materials (4th edn, forthcoming, 2014). Routledge.

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), '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

  • Lucy, William & Williams, Alexander (2013). 'Public and Private: Neither Deep Nor Meaningful'. In Private Law: Key Encounters with Public Law. Barker, Kit & Jensen, Darryn (eds) Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, Alexander. (2011). Public authorities: what is a hybrid public authority under the HRA?. In The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law. Hoffman, David Cambridge Cambridge University Press. 48-65.

Journal papers: academic