Carol Harlow was Professor of Public Law at the School from 1989 until 2002 and is now Emeritus Professor. She came to the School as a lecturer in 1972 and was promoted to Reader in 1986. She made significant contributions to the literature in tort law, some with a public law flavour. With time her publications were concentrated in administrative law. Law and Administration (1984) , co-authored with Richard Rawlings, then at the School, was a seminal book in the area. Its law and context approach, with themes of process, legitimacy, competency, effectiveness and efficiency, broke from what was then the dominant formalist approach to the subject. Then followed Pressure through Law (1992), again with Richard Rawlings, a study of how pressure groups used law as a means of advancing a social or political agenda.
In the mid-1990s, Harlow had spent time at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) as a Jean Monnet Professor, and she added to her interests EU administrative law. Her focus was on the liability of the state, accountability and more specifically accountability in the European Union. This interest led to a number of important publications including, with Richard Rawlings, Process and Procedure in EU Administration (2014). In 2013, she acted as Special Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Inquiries. Having been appointed Queens Counsel (honoris causa) in 1996, she was made a Fellow of the School in 2005. She is a Bencher of the Middle Temple and has been elected Reader at the Inn for Lent Term 2019. She comments: "The School has a special, critical atmosphere that encourages scholarly work and I won't forget the generations of students I have met and made friends with from around the world."