Professor Michael Zander KC

Emeritus Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Key Expertise

About me

Michael Zander is an Emeritus Professor Law at LSE.

Michael Zander took a Double First Honours Degree at Cambridge, obtained a First Class in the LLB and was awarded the Whewell Scholarship in International Law. He took an LLM at Harvard and worked for a year with Sullivan & Cromwell on Wall Street. He then returned to this country, qualified as a solicitor and practised for a period before joining the Law Department in 1963. He was appointed to a Chair in 1977. He was convener of the Law Department from 1984 to 1988 and again in 1997-98. He was made an Honorary QC in 1997. In 2001 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the LSE. In 2005 he was appointed a Senior Fellow of the British Academy. He retired from full-time teaching in 1998.

In 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws at King's College, London. The citation stated: 'He has devoted a long and active career to the study, teaching, practice and improvement of the law, and has made outstanding contributions in both the academic and public spheres. There is no greater authority in the fields to which he has devoted himself: criminal procedure, civil procedure, legal profession and legal services ... The central mission of his professional life has been to make the justice system work better.'

In September 2015 Michael Zander was the recipient of the Halsbury Lifetime Contribution Award.  (The Halsbury Legal Awards were instituted in 2013. The previous recipients were Sir Sydney Kentridge QC in 2013 and Lord Judge, the then recently retired Lord Chief Justice, in 2014.)

For Sir Sydney Kentridge QC's letter about Professor Zander's career, in support of the Halsbury Lifetime Contribution Award click here

On 19 October 2023 the Law School took note of Michael Zander’s 90th birthday by hosting his lecture: “Promoting Change in the Legal System – a Memoir”. For the text of the lecture click here, or watch the video on youtube.

Research interests

Professor Zander's main fields are Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, Legal System, Legal Profession and Legal Services.

External activities


  • Professor Zander has been a member of the Home Office PACE Strategy Board since it was established in 2008
  • For twenty-five years (1963-1988) he was also Legal Correspondent of The Guardian for which he wrote more than 1,400 pieces


Inaugural Lecture

For Michael Zander's LSE Inaugural Lecture (1979) entitled "Promoting Change in the Legal System" click here.


  • Lawyers and the Public Interest, 1968
  • What's Wrong with the Law (ed.), 1970
  • Family Guide to the Law (ed.) 1971, 2nd ed.1972
  • Legal Problems and the Citizen, with Brian Abel-Smith and Rosalind Brooke, 1973
  • Cases and Materials on the English Legal System, 1973, 10th ed. 2007
  • Social Workers, their Clients and the Law, 1974, 3rd ed.1981
  • A Bill of Rights?, 1975, 4th ed.1997
  • Legal Services for the Community, 1978
  • Pears Guide to the Law, (ed.) 1979
  • The Law-Making Process, 1980, 8th ed.2020
  • The State of Knowledge about the English Legal Profession, 1980
  • A Matter of Justice: The Legal System in Ferment,1988, revised edition, 1989
  • The State of Justice, 2000 (The 1999 Hamlyn Lectures)
  • Consultant Editor for the section on Contempt and on Courts both in Halsbury’s Laws of England, 5th ed., vol.24, 2019
  • Zander on PACE - The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, 9th edn.2023.


In the 60 years from 1963 to 2023, in addition to chapters in books, Michael Zander has had over 400 articles published  in legal and other journals including: Criminal Law Review, Modern Law Review, Public Law, Current Legal Problems, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly,  International Journal of the Legal Profession, New Law Journal, Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, Archbold News, Law Society’s Gazette, Counsel, Solicitors Journal,  Legal Action, Justice of the Peace, Police Review,  New Society, Political Quarterly. 

Official publications

  • Report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, 1993 – signatory of the Report and author of a Note of Dissent (pp.221-235)
  • The Crown Court Study, with Paul Henderson (Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, Research Study No.19, HMSO, 1993, 274pp)

Evidence submitted to official committees or in response to official reports

  • Written Evidence to the Monopolies Commission's Inquiry into Restrictive Practices in the Professions,1970
  • Written evidence to the Benson Royal Commission on Legal Services, 1976
  • Written evidence to the Philips Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, 1979
  • Written response to the Lord Chancellor’s Green Papers on the legal profession, 1989
  • Written evidence to the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct regarding Extended Rights of Audience, 1991
  • Written Evidence to the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct regarding legal education: the academic stage, August 1994
  • Written Response to Lord Justice Auld’s Review of the Criminal Courts, November 2001
  • Written Response to the Home Office Consultation Paper on Advance Disclosure of Defence Experts’ Names and Names and Addresses of Defence Witnesses, 2002
  • ‘Jury Research and Impropriety’ - A Response to the Department of Constitutional Affairs Consultation Paper, 2005
  • ‘Modernising Police Powers – Review of PACE’ - A Response to the Department of Constitutional Affairs, Consultation Paper of March 2007
  • Written submissions to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee Inquiry into the Criminal Cases Review Commission, published on the Committee’s website 16 December 2014, 3 February 2015, 24 February 2015 and Oral Evidence with Lord Runciman on 20 January 2015 


  • `Compensation for Victims of Violence', 1962 (JUSTICE committee)
  • `Justice for All', 1968 (Society of Labour Lawyers committee, chief author)
  • `A proposal for a Suitor's Fund', 1969 (JUSTICE committee)
  • `Legal Education', 1969 (Society of Labour Lawyers committee, chief author)
  • `The Unrepresented Defendant in the Magistrates' Court', 1971 (JUSTICE committee, chief author)
  • `Legal Studies in Social Work Education', 1974 (Central Council for the Education and Training of Social Workers committee)
  • `Diversion from Criminal Justice', 1975 (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) - chairman of committee and chief author)
  • `Inequalities before the law', 1976 (Open University)
  • `Charter of Human Rights', 1976 (Labour Party committee, Discussion document)
  • `Confiscation and Forfeiture Law: English and American Comparisons', 1989 (Police Foundation)