2020 applicants
People

Professor Maurice Sunkin

Professor
School of Law
Professor Maurice Sunkin
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872560

  • Location

    5S.5.32, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Academic Support Hours: Tuesday 16.00-17.00

Profile

Biography

Maurice Sunkin QC (Hon) is Professor of Public Law and Socio-Legal Studies in the School of Law. He has been General Editor of the journal Public Law since 2010 and is an Associate Member of Landmark Chambers, London. He is a member of the Administrative Justice Council and of the Regional Counter Terrorism Advisory Group. His advisory work also includes: acting as an adviser to the government on the overarching evaluation of its current major programme of court and tribunal reform; membership of the Public Law Project's Expert Group on Transforming Judicial Review; serving as Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution (Parliamentary Session 2013-14); and assisting the Equality and Human Rights Commission with its report on human rights in the UK (2011-12). He was a Trustee, and management committee member, of the Public Law Project between 2000-11. Professor Sunkin's past university posts include: Director of Research in the School of Law (2007-14); Dean of the School of Law (2006-07) and the Faculty of Law and Management (2006-7); University of Essex Appeals Officer/Ombudsman(2002-04); and Head of the Department of Law (1997-2000). Before coming to Essex in 1989 he taught at the then Polytechnic of the South Bank and served as Head of School of Law (1981-3). Maurice Sunkin's principal areas of research concern the use and effects of judicial review; the dynamics of public law (including human rights) litigation; and the impact of litigation and judicial decisions on public bodies and the quality of public services. He helped establish the UK Administrative Institute (UKAJI) and continues to play a key role in its work. He also has research interests in big data and human rights and was PI and later Co Director of the £6m ESRC project on Big Data and Human Rights based at Essex. His work on this project now principally concentrates on oversight of surveillance. His current research also includes work on the constitutional status and powers of the Victims Commissioner and research with The Law Society of England and Wales to inform its response to the government's programme of judicial review reform and the deliberations of the independent Review of Administrative Law established in August 2020. In 2018 the Queen appointed him QC Honoris Causa. This award was in recognition of his major contribution to the law of England and Wales outside of practice in the courts having in particular pioneered an empirical approach to the law and undertaken leading studies of the use, operation and effects of judicial review.

Qualifications

  • LLB London University,

  • LLM London University,

  • PhD Essex University,

  • Barrister Middle Temple,

Research and professional activities

Current research

Research to support consideration of the constitutional powers of the Victims’ Commissioner

The Victims’ Commissioner wants to develop an evidence base and robust proposals for the powers of the VC. The research considers the necessary constitutional, regulatory, legal and resource requirements for reviewing Code compliance. It aims to identify the powers that should be given to the VC to correct the current ‘oversight deficit’ and ensure good performance from the new Code. The review will provide an evidence base on how different public bodies are empowered to carry out their scrutiny functions.

Government reform of Judicial Review (JR): helping the Law Society and legal profession anticipate, evaluate and respond

The Government is committed to establish a Commission on the Constitution, Democracy and Rights to propose reforms, including to judicial review (JR) and the Human Rights Act. This timely and necessary research draws on the Law School’s expertise and its UK Administrative Justice Institute to assist The Law Society of England and Wales by enabling it to prepare for, evaluate, and respond to government reforms of JR.

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Foundations of Public Law (LW103)

Previous supervision

Joanna Elizabeth Easton
Joanna Elizabeth Easton
Thesis title: The Impact of Bereaved Family Participation in the Inquest Process in England and Wales Following a Death in Custody
Degree subject: Human Rights
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 23/1/2018
David John Sykes
David John Sykes
Thesis title: Equity's Roving Commission in Administrative Law: An Analysis of the Present and Potential Role of Equity in the Relationship Between Local Authorities and Their Service Users
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 4/7/2017
Stephen Kofi Sondem
Stephen Kofi Sondem
Thesis title: National Human Rights Institutions and Socio-Economic Rights: An Evaluation of the Ghana Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 5/11/2014

Publications

Journal articles (9)

McPherson, S. and Sunkin, M., (2020). The Dobson–Rawlins pact and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: impact of political independence on scientific and legal accountability. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 216 (4), 231-234

Nason, S. and Sunkin, M., (2013). The Regionalisation of Judicial Review: Constitutional Authority, Access to Justice and Specialisation of Legal Services in Public Law. Modern Law Review. 76 (2), 223-253

Platt, L., Sunkin, M. and Calvo, K., (2010). Judicial Review Litigation as an Incentive to Change in Local Authority Public Services in England and Wales. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 20 (Supp 2), i243-i260

Sunkin, M., Platt, L. and Calvo, K., (2010). The Positive Effect of Judicial Review on the Quality of Local Government. Judicial Review. 15 (4), 337-342

Nason, S., Hardy, D. and Sunkin, M., (2010). Regionalisation of the Administrative Court and Access to Justice. Judicial Review. 15 (3), 220-227

Sunkin, M. and Bondy, V., (2009). Settlement in Judicial Review proceedings. Public Law. 2009, 237-259

Bondy, V. and Sunkin, M., (2009). The Use of Statistics in Proposing Reforms to the Public Funding of Judicial Review Litigation: A Critical View. Judicial Review. 14 (4), 372-379

Sunkin, M. and Bondy, V., (2008). Accessing Judicial Review. Public Law. 2008, 647-667

Sunkin, M., Calvo, K., Platt, L. and Landman, T., (2007). Mapping the Impact of Judicial Review on the Quality of Local Authority Services in England & Wales. Public Law. Autumn, 545-567

Books (7)

Sunkin, M., Le Sueur, A. and Murkens, J., (2019). Public Law Text Cases and Materials, 4th edition

Juss, S. and Sunkin, M., (2017). Landmark Cases in Public Law. Hart Publishing. 9781849466035

Le Sueur, A., Sunkin, M. and Murkens, JEK., (2016). Public Law Text, Cases, and Materials (Third edition). Oxford University Press (OUP). 9780198735380

Bondy, V., Platt, L. and Sunkin, M., (2015). The Value and Effects of Judicial Review: The Nature of Claims, their Outcomes and Consequences. Public Law Project. 9781898421160

Le Sueur, A., Sunkin, M. and Murkens, J., (2013). Public Law: Text Cases and Materials (2nd edition). Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-964418-6

Le Sueur, A., Sunkin, M. and Murkens, J., (2010). Public Law: Text Cases and Materials. Oxford University Press. 0198820283. 9780199284191

Bondy, V. and Sunkin, M., (2009). The Dynamics of Judicial Review Litigation: The resolution of public law challenges before final hearing. Public Law Project

Book chapters (7)

Sunkin, M., (2017). Padfield v Ministry of Agriculture: significance and implications for the development of Public Law. In: Landmark Cases in Public Law. Editors: Juss, S. and Sunkin, M., . Hart Publishing. 9781849466035

Sunkin, M. and Bondy, V., (2016). The Use and Effects of Judicial Review: Assumptions and the Empirical Evidence. In: Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance. Editors: Bell, J., Elliott, M., Varuhas, JNE. and Murray, P., . Hart Publishing. 9781849469913

Sunkin, M., (2015). The impact of public law litigation. In: The Cambridge Companion to Public Law. Editors: Elliott, M. and Feldman, D., . Cambridge University Press. 236- 255. 9781107655096

Sunkin, M., (2009). Grounds for Judicial Review: Illegality in the Strict Sense. In: English Public Law (Second Edition ). Editors: Feldman, D., . Oxford University Press. 615- 665. 9780199227938

Sunkin, M., (2009). Remedies Available in Juducial Review Proceedings. In: English Public Law (Second Edition ). Editors: Feldman, D., . Oxford University Press. 793- 824. 9780199227938

Sunkin, M., (2008). The Crown. In: The New Oxford Companion to Law. Editors: Cane, P. and Conaghan, J., . Oxford University Press. 9780199290543

Sunkin, M., (2008). Judicial Review. In: The New Oxford Companion to Law. Editors: Cane, P. and Conaghan, J., . Oxford University Press. 9780199290543

Reports and Papers (2)

Sunkin, MS., Doyle, M. and Bondy, V., (2018). A Research Roadmap for Administrative Justice

Doyle, M., (2018). Relationships, trust and learning to drive: A report on a discussion of young people's participation in SEND dispute resolution Report on a roundtable discussion for the project A Place at the Table

Grants and funding

2020

Study in support of consideration of the constitutional powers of the UK Victims� Commissioner

Office of the Victims Commissioner

2017

A place at the table: Children's and young people's participation in resolving disputes about special educational needs - Developing a toolkit for best practice

University of Essex

2015

Human Rights and Information Technology in the Era of Big Data

Economic & Social Research Council

2014

UK Administrative Initiative

Nuffield Foundation

2012

EHRC Consultancy

Ehrc (Equality And Human Rights Commission)

2011

The effect and value of judicial review in England and Wales

Nuffield Foundation

2010

Regionalisation of the Administrative Court and Access

The British Academy

Contact

maurice.sunkin@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 872560

Location:

5S.5.32, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Academic Support Hours: Tuesday 16.00-17.00