Old Bailey statue of Justice

Labour Law

LSE holds a unique place in the birth and development of industrial relations and labour law in the UK. The School's founders, the Webbs, inventors of the term 'collective bargaining', laid the foundations for studying labour relations and their regulation in a broad social context. Labour law was taught at LSE from 1903 and comparative labour law from 1934, whilst no other UK university taught labour law until after the second World War. It was to LSE that Kahn-Freund came as a refugee from Germany in 1933 and, with his famous conceptualisation of Britain as a collective laissez-faire system, developed a sophisticated empirical and conceptual framework for thinking about labour law, one subsequently elaborated upon by, in particular, Lord Wedderburn, Paul Davies, and also Hugh Collins at LSE. While labour law and the labour market mutate rapidly, there is an enduring focus on the multiple sources of legislative and private norm production in labour law, how best to justify labour law, and which regulatory techniques can deliver its objectives.


Professor Hugh Collins

Dr Astrid Sanders

Recent publications