Public Law

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Jo Murkens

Additional Teachers:  Professor Martin Loughlin, Professor Thomas Poole, Dr Andrew Scott, and Professor Conor Gearty.


This course is compulsory on the BA in Anthropology and Law and LLB in Laws. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

The course covers: the conceptual framework of public law; central government and the executive; parliament; multi-layered government (the European Union, devolution and local government); judicial review; and civil liberties and human rights.


16 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the AT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the WT.

This course includes a reading week in Weeks 6 of Autumn Term and Winter Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce one essay in the AT and one essay in the WT.

Other assignments will be set by the class teacher or the course convenor, as required.

Indicative reading

Basic texts: Martin Loughlin, The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013); A. Le Sueur, M. Sunkin & J. Murkens, Public Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 5th edn, 2023).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the spring exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2022/23: 216

Average class size 2022/23: 15

Capped 2022/23: No

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills