Law School

Professor Patrick Birkinshaw



Patrick Birkinshaw

Professor of Public Law

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

Chapters in edited collections

  • Birkinshaw, P ‘Valuing Transparency in Government and Media’ in Transparency in Politics and Media – Accountability and Open Government eds N Bowles, J.T Hamilton and D.A.Levy (I.B Tauris 2014) pp. 48-72
  • Birkinshaw, P ‘The United Kingdom in Europe and Europe in the United Kingdom – an Indelible Influence?’ in Verfassung und Verwaltung in Europa: Festschrift für Jürgen Schwarze zum 70. Geburtstag. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Becker, Prof. Dr. Armin Hatje, Prof. Dr. Michael Potacs, MinR Dr. Nina Wunderlich, eds ((Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 2014) pp. 15-38.
  • Birkinshaw, P ‘Le Droit Public Anglais dans le Creuset Européen’ in Traité de Droit Européen eds J B Auby and J. Dutheil de la Rochere (Bruylant 2014) pp 761-784
  • Birkinshaw, P (2012) ‘National Courts and European Union Courts’ in European Disunion: Between Sovereignty and Solidarity eds J.Hayward and R. Wurzel Palgrave Macmillan pp. 115 – 130.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2012) ‘Like Canute – Pushing back the Waters of the Incoming Tides. The Prospects for Re-inventing UK Constitutionalism’ in The EU and National Constitutional Law ed M Huber, Richard Boorberg Verlag pp. 187–210.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2011) ‘Regulating Information’ in The Changing Constitution eds J.Jowell and D.Oliver eds (7th edn) pp. 365-393 – new addition to the book by OUP. 
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010) ‘Grievances, Remedies and the State Revisited and Reappraised’ in Administrative Justice in Context ed M.Adler, Hart Publications pp.353 - 381.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010) ‘Goodbye to all That’ in Studies in European Public Law: Thematic, National and Post National Perspectives ed C.Kombos, Sakkoulas Publications pp. 279-300. Updated and extended to be included in a collection under the editorship of Prof J. Schwarze (2012).
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010) ‘Terrorism, Secrecy and Human Rights’ in Studies in European Public Law: Thematic, National and Post National Perspectives ed C.Kombos, Sakkoulas Publications pp. 226-246.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010) ‘Transparency and Access to Documents’ in The EU Legal Order After Lisbon, eds P Birkinshaw and M Varney, Kluwer Law International pp.229 – 253.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010) ‘Public Liability: European Influence and Domestic Change with M.Varney in Studies in European Public Law: Thematic, National and Post National Perspectives, C.Kombos, Sakkoulas Publications pp.149 – 196.
  • Birkinshaw, P and Kombos, C (2010)‘European Constitutional Law – the UK: Repositioning the Debate – Departure from Constitutional Ontology and the Introduction of the Typological Discussion.’ in The Emergence of European Constitututional Law ed R. Arnold Sakkoulas and Bruylant, pp.35 – 73.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2009) ‘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 Torture and Terror eds T.Ward and B.Clucas, Nomos Baden-Baden pp. 96-117.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2008) ‘English Public Law under European Influence’ in Bestand und Perspective des Europäischende Verwaltungsrechts ed J.Schwarze Nomos, Baden-Baden pp.97-130.
  • Birkinshaw, P and Hicks, A (2008) ‘The Law and Public Information in the UK: Quality, Access and Re-use’ in Il regime dei dati pubblici ed B.Ponti, Maggioli Editore pp.15-51.
  • Birkinshaw, P and Kunnecke, M (2008) ‘Die europäische Frage im Kontext der britischen Rechtstradition’ in Handbuch Ius Publicum Europaeum Band II Offene Staatlichkeit- Wissenschaft vom Verfassungsrecht eds A.von Bogdandy, P. Cruz Villalón and P.Huber, C.F.Muller Heidelberg pp.107-141.

Articles in refereed journals

  • Birkinshaw, P (2011) ‘Repatriating the UK Constitution’ University of Sapienza (Rome) in its Public and European Law series Giustamm July 2011. 
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010) ‘Public Sector Employment in the United Kingdom’ Il Lavoro Nelle Pubbliche Amministrazioni 13(1) pp. 27-57 (Giuffre Editore, Milano).
  • Birkinshaw, P (2010)‘ Freedom of Information and its impact in the UK’ in Government Information Quarterly 27(4) pp. 312 – 321.
  • Birkinshaw, P (2008) ‘The Right to Good Administration in the United Kingdom’ Rivista di diritto pubblico: Italiano, communitario e comparato n. 2/2008, 25pp


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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