Dr Richard Cornes

Senior Lecturer
Essex Law School
Dr Richard Cornes
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872551

  • Location

    Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Mondays 15:00 - 17:00



Dr Richard Cornes is an Associate Professor at Essex Law School. His research focuses on: • How psychoanalytical, and psychosocial, concepts can explain and inform legal processes. • The impact and implications of technology for the judicial role, with a particular interest in the impact technology has on the psychodynamics of judicial processes. • How art, and drawing, can play a role in teaching and psychosocial research. In 2019 he completed an MA in Management and Organisational Dynamics (co-taught between Essex' Department of Psychoanalytic and Psychosocial Studies, and the Essex Business School) in which he further developed his research interests and methods in the re-emergent transdisciplinary field of Law and Psychoanalytic studies. He is a founding member of Essex' Research Group on Psychoanalysis, Law, and Social Phenomena (,-law-and-social-phenomena), and co-author of Essex Law School's module, 'Law and the Unconscious'. Subjects he teaches, or has taught, include: Public Law, Administrative Law, Human Rights in the United Kingdom, Comparative Public Law, Constitutional Reform, Understanding Judges, Women and the Law, Law and Government, European Union Law, and Legal Skills. He has experience working (teaching, researching, recruiting, and relationship building) in multicultural contexts in: Aotearoa/New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court system, Germany, Spain, France, Canada, the USA, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brunei. At Essex Law School, and elsewhere, he has held a range of management and leadership positions. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Public Law from 2009 to 2022. He graduated BA/LLB(Hons) from Auckland University (English and Law) in 1992 and the following year was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. During his time at Auckland he studied under Professor Michael Taggart, who inspired his interest in public law. After practising law in Aotearoa/New Zealand (Simpson Grierson, Auckland) he spent two years in Australia, working for the Constitutional Centenary Foundation, as Senior Tutor and Law Tutor at International House (a college of The University of Melbourne), and studying at Melbourne Law School, where he obtained a Graduate Diploma in International Law. In 1997 he moved to London to become a Senior Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit in the School of Public Policy at University College London where he remained until moving to Essex in autumn 2000. While at the Constitution Unit he co-authored, an ESRC funded report on a new Supreme Court for the United Kingdom, with Professor Andrew Le Sueur. In 2012 he was awarded a Phd in Law by Essex University on the topic of comparative top courts reform (with Professors Paul Craig, Oxford, and Paul Rishworth, Auckland, as examiners).


  • BA/LLB(Hons) Auck

  • Grad Dip International Law (Melb)

  • Phd (Law) Essex

  • MA Management and Organisational Dynamics University of Essex,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Constitutional & Administrative Law

Comparative Public Law

Psychoanalysis and Law

Human Rights, esp Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech and Religion

LGTB+ rights, in particular legal recognition of same-sex relationships and marriage equality

Comparative Judicial Branch Studies

Media, Communications and Top Courts

Law and Politics

European Law, esp judicial branch issues

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Foundations of Public Law (LW103)

  • Career Development Learning Part 1 (LW111)

  • Legal Research and Academic Skills (LW517)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

Previous supervision

Hakan Kolcak
Hakan Kolcak
Thesis title: A Centripetal Formula for Turkey: A Multiculturalist Proposal for the Resolution of the Republic's Long-Running Kurdish Question
Degree subject: Human Rights
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 25/6/2018


Journal articles (15)

Sourdin, T. and Cornes, R., (2016). Implications for therapeutic judging (TJ) of a psychoanalytical approach to the judicial role — Reflections on Robert Burt's contribution. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 48, 8-14

Cornes, RM., (2016). Psychological Aspects of Outsourcing in the 'Justice Sector' in England & Wales

Cornes, RM., (2016). Making Up the Legal Mind - How Do Judges, (and Lawyers), Think? A Legal and Psychoanalytical Perspective

Cornes, RM., (2015). Philadelphia – Self, Power and Hollywood's Safe Money Agenda

Cornes, RM., (2014). Submission on the Judicature Modernisation Bill to the Justice & Electoral Committee of the New Zealand Parliament

Cornes, RM., (2014). Questions of Structure and Culture in UK Top Court Reform

Cornes, RM., (2014). Communications Innovations at the United Kingdom Supreme Court - A New Constitutional Actor Asserts Itself

Cornes, RM., (2014). Making Up the Judge's Mind – A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Legal Reasoning and the Role of the Judge

Cornes, RM., (2014). Making the Case for Better Protecting Judicial Independence in New Zealand

Cornes, R., (2013). Pérdidas y ganancias en la traducción : el liderazgo del Tribunal Supremo del Reino Unido , parámetros y perspectivas = Gains (and dangers of losses) in translation : – the leadership function in the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court , parameters and prospects. Teoría y Realidad Constitucional. 31 (31), 169-169

Cornes, RM., (2013). A Constitutional Disaster in the Making? - The Communications Challenge Facing the United Kingdom's Supreme Court

Cornes, RM., (2013). A Point of Stability in the Life of the Nation: The Office of Chief Justice of New Zealand - Supreme Court Judge, Judicial Branch Leader, and Constitutional Guardian & Statesperson

Cornes, RM., (2011). Strategies in Pursuit of Marriage Equality: Let Legislatures Lead a Law/Sociology Dialogue

Cornes, RM., (2004). There's More than One Song Worth Singing: The Supreme Court, the Legal System, and Some Thoughts About the Future"

Cornes, R., (2004). Appealing to history: the New Zealand Supreme Court debate. Legal Studies. 24 (1-2), 210-227

Book chapters (2)

Cornes, R. and Sourdin, T., (2018). Do Judges Need to Be Human? The Implications of Technology for Responsive Judging. In: The Responsive Judge International Perspectives. Editors: Sourdin, T. and Zariski, A., . Springer. 978-981-13-1023-2

Sourdin, T. and Cornes, R., (2018). Do Judges Need to Be Human? The Implications of Technology for Responsive Judging. In: The Responsive Judge. Springer Singapore. 87- 119. 9789811310225

Reports and Papers (1)

Cornes, RM., (2017). Managed Hearts on the Bench - Management(,) Psychology, and Judges

+44 (0) 1206 872551


Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Mondays 15:00 - 17:00