University of York academic honoured with prestigious law prize

Professor Tomlinson has received the award for his work on administrative law and justice, and socio-legal studies. The Leverhulme Trust’s Philip Leverhulme prizes recognise and celebrate the achievements of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future careers are considered exceptionally promising.


Joe Tomlinson is Professor of Public Law at the University of York, where he is also Director of the Administrative Fairness Lab. His current research focuses on public perceptions of fairness in frontline government decision-making, and how government bodies, courts, and law respond to complex societal challenges.

Philip Leverhulme Prizes in Law are offered to legal scholars every three years and this is the first time a prize has been awarded to an academic from York Law School. The prize is for £100,000 to be used over two or three years, for research expenses, research assistance or for teaching replacement.


Professor Tomlinson said: “I am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way, and feel the award is really in honour of the efforts of the many people who have provided me with fantastic support. I am extremely fortunate to work with brilliant academic and professional services colleagues everyday, both at York and beyond, as well as outstanding people in the public, private, and charitable sectors who are genuinely committed to trying to improve society through research.

“Receiving this prize today is only possible because so many people gave me time, advice, and opportunities when I was starting out as the first person in my family to attend university with very little idea of how to pursue a research career. I hope to use most of the Prize money to create opportunities for early career administrative law scholars to come and work with me on research so I can pass on the favour.”

Public good

Professor Karen Rowlingson, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “I am proud to congratulate Professor Tomlinson on receiving a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law. His exceptional work leading research to identify ways to improve the fairness of front-line legal and government procedures has not only expanded our understanding of the impact of administrative processes on the everyday life and wellbeing of millions of people, but also paves the way for a more equal and healthier society.

“This prestigious award underscores Professor Tomlinson’s dedication to advancing social justice and highlights the University’s commitment to fostering impactful research carried out for public good.”