Research

My research explores the nature of democracy and in particular its relationship to constitutional forms. I would locate my work generally within the field of constitutional theory, heavily influenced by political philosophy but with an eye on contemporary problems in public and administrative law. I am interested in looking at the way in which certain shared, but usually unarticulated, background understandings shape the way in which we see specific aspects of our political and constitutional practice as being of particular normative significance.

My doctoral thesis examines the well-known ‘countermajoritarian difficulty’ which gives rise to debates over whether judicial review of legislation is an anti-democratic practice. I look to reconstruct the ‘political constitutionalist’ argument against judicial review, by arguing that legal and political forms of constitutionalism cannot be distinguished by purely empirical factors, but rather only by an appreciation of the place that constitutional forms hold in the popular imagination.

In addition to my work in constitutional theory I have broader interests in legal and political theory, housing law, UK public law and the law of the European Convention on Human Rights. I would be happy to supervise PhD students in any of these areas.