Law School

Professor Patrick Birkinshaw



Patrick Birkinshaw

Professor of Public Law

Director of  the Institute of European Public Law
Alumni Liaison Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1482 46 5742
Office: 420 Wilberforce
Qualifications LLB (Hull), Barrister-at-Law


Professor Patrick Birkinshaw has been a professor since 1990, and has lectured at Hull since 1976. He is Director of the Institute of European Public Law, and has been Editor in Chief of the journal European Public Law since 1995. He has written various books including Government and Information: the Law Relating to Access, Disclosure and Regulation (4th ed. 2011 with M Varney Bloomsbury), European Public Law – the Achievement and the Challenge (2014, Kluwer Law International), Freedom of Information: the Law, the Practice and the Ideal (4th ed. 2010 CUP), The EU Legal Order After Lisbon (2011 ed with M Varney Kluwer Law International) and Grievances Remedies and the State (2nd ed 1995, Sweet & Maxwell).

Professor Birkinshaw worked as a specialist adviser to the Commons Public Administration Select Committee in its enquiry into 'Political Memoirs' in 2005/2006. He has acted as a government and parliamentary adviser and has represented the UK in international legal seminars. From 1997 until 1999, he served as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration in its review of Government proposals, and its Bill on Freedom of Information. Professor Birkinshaw is also on the Senior Schemes' Assessment Board for the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Science, which allocates public funds for academic research. Between 2000 and 2008 he was on the Transparency Panel of NIREX and then the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Selected Publications

Patrick is the Editor-in-Chief of European Public Law, published by Kluwer Law International (1995 to date). 


  • Birkinshaw P, European Public Law: The Achievement and the Challenge (2nd edn, Kluwer Law 2014)
  • Birkinshaw P, Government and Information: The Law Relating to Access, Disclosure and their Regulation (4th edn, Bloomsbury Professional 2011)
  • Birkinshaw P, Freedom of Information: the Law, the Practice and the Ideal (4th edn, Cambridge University Press 2010)
  • Birkinshaw P and Varney M (eds), The EU Legal Order after Lisbon (Kluwer Law International 2010)

Chapters in edited collections

  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Valuing Transparency in Government and Media’ in N Bowles N, Hamilton JT and Levy DA (eds), Transparency in Politics and Media - Accountability and Open Government (I.B. Tauris 2014) 48
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘The United Kingdom in Europe and Europe in the United Kingdom – an Indelible Influence?’ in Becker U and others (eds), Verfassung und Verwaltung in Europa: Festschrift für Jürgen Schwarze zum 70 Geburtstag (Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 2014) 15
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Le Droit Public Anglais dans le Creuset Européen’ in Auby JB and Dutheil de la Rochere J (eds), Traité de Droit Européen (Bruylant 2014) 761
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Terrorism, Secrecy and Human Rights’ in Huber P and Ziegler K (eds), Current Problems in the Protection of Human Rights in the UK and Germany (Hart Publishing 2013)
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Like Canute – Pushing back the Waters of the Incoming Tides: The Prospects for Re-inventing UK Constitutionalism’ in Huber PM (ed), The EU and National Constitutional Law (Boorberg 2012) 187
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘National Courts and European Union Courts’ in Hayward J and Wurzel R (eds), European Disunion: Between Sovereignty and Solidarity (Palgrave Macmillan 2012) 115
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Regulating Information’ in Jowell J and Oliver D (eds), The Changing Constitution (7th edn, 2011) 365
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Transparency and Access to Documents’ in Birkinshaw P and Varney M (eds), The EU Legal Order After Lisbon (Kluwer Law International 2010) 229
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Terrorism, Secrecy and Human Rights’ in Kombos K (ed), Studies in European Public Law: Thematic, National and Post National Perspectives (Sakkoulas Publications 2010) 226
  • Birkinshaw P and Varney M, ‘Public Liability: European Influence and Domestic Change ’ in Kombos K (ed), Studies in European Public Law: Thematic, National and Post National Perspectives (Sakkoulas Publications 2010) 149
  • Birkinshaw P and Kombos K, ‘European Constitutional Law – the UK: Repositioning the Debate – Departure from Constitutional Ontology and the Introduction of the Typological Discussion’ in Arnold R (ed), The Emergence of European Constitutional Law (Sakkoulas Publishing 2010) 35
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Grievances, Remedies and the State Revisited and Reappraised’ in Adler M (ed), Administrative Justice in Context (Hart Publishing 2010) 353
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Goodbye to all That’ in Kombos K (ed), Studies in European Public Law: Thematic, National and Post National Perspectives (Sakkoulas Publications 2010) 279
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘English Law and Evidence Obtained by Torture: Vindication of Basic Principle or Judicial Abnegation. Implications of A(FC) etc v Secretary of State for the Home Department’ in Clucas B and Ward T (eds), Torture and Terror (Nomos 2009) 96
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘English Public Law under European Influence’ in Schwarze J (ed), Bestand und Perspective des Europäischende Verwaltungsrechts (Nomos 2008) 97
  • Birkinshaw P and Hicks A, ‘The Law and Public Information: Quality, Access and Re-use: Comparative Legal Analysis - the UK’ in Ponti B (ed), Il regime dei dati pubblici (The system of public data) (Maggioli Editore 2008) 15
  • Birkinshaw P and Künnecke M, ‘Die europäische Frage im Kontext der britischen Rechtstradition’ in von Bogdandy A, Cruz Villalón P and Huber PM (eds), Handbuch Ius Publicum Europaeum Band II Offene Staatlichkeit- Wissenschaft vom Verfassungsrecht (CF Muller 2008) 107

Articles in refereed journals

  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Das Verhältnis der Richter des Vereinigten Königreichs zu Europa und der europäischen Integration’ [2015] Europarecht 267
    [UoH Repository entry]
  • Birkinghsaw P,‘United Kingdom judges and European integration’ (2015) 25 Rivista Italiana di diritto pubblico comunitario 363
    [UoH Repository entry]
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Repatriating the UK Constitution’ [2011] Public and European Law series Giustamm
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Freedom of Information and its impact in the UK’ (2010) 27 Government Information Quarterly 312
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Public Sector Employment in the United Kingdom’ (2010) 13 Il Lavoro Nelle Pubbliche Amministrazioni 27
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘The Right to Good Administration in the United Kingdom’ [2008] Rivista di diritto pubblico: Italiano, communitario e comparato

Papers and Lectures

  • Birkinshaw P, ‘What have the Europeans done for us?’ (University of Birmingham Institute of European Law Annual Lecture, Birmingham, 26th June 2014)
  • Birkinshaw P and Varney M, ‘Britain Alone Constitutionally’ (Britain Alone! The Implications and Consequences of UK Withdrawal from the EU, University of London, 9th May 2014)
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Like Canute: pushing back the waters of the incoming tide’ (Senior Staff Seminar, University of Birmingham, February 2014)
  • Birkinshaw P, ‘Goodbye to All of That! Forty Years of Being in Europe (Keynote)’ (Conference: The EU Faring Through Its Post-Lisbon Crisis: Past, Present and Future of European Integration, Liverpool John Moores University School of Law, Liverpool, 28th June 2013)


Patrick Birkinshaw is an experienced and widely published public lawyer. He is an authority on grievance remedial procedures in contemporary states, secrecy and access to justice, freedom of information, government and economic regulation and European public law. His work has been influential in the on-going debate concerning the complex processes of reform of these areas of constitutional law and Public Law & Administration.

PhD Supervision

Professor Patrick Birkinshaw has published widely in Public Law, European Public Law and Law and Information Rights including transparency, security and secrecy. He has recently supervised PhD theses on Human Rights in Europe, the EU Ombudsman and democracy, Secrecy and fundamental rights, and what China may be able to learn from the UK on protection of human rights.



  • European Public Law I (Convenor)
  • European Public Law II (Convenor)
  • Law & Information(Convenor)
  • Public Law and Administration
  • Public Law and the Constitution


  • British Public Law (Convenor)
  • European Public Law I (Convenor)
  • European PublicLaw II (Convenor)
  • French Public Law (Convenor)
  • German Public Law (Convenor)
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