University Academic Shines Light on UK Public Law with Book

Chris Monaghan book
Dr Chris Monaghan, Principal Lecturer in Law, with his new book on Public Law

Dr Chris Monaghan, Principal Lecturer in Law, has produced the textbook Public Law, sharing his expertise in this area, but also with the aim to make the topic as accessible as possible. His book looks at a number of areas, including the UK’s constitution, the rule of law, parliament, parliamentary sovereignty, the crown, Government and accountability, prerogative powers, the courts and the judiciary, human rights and judicial review.

Three years in the production, it will be a set text for students at the University of Worcester from the next academic year, September 2022. 

“It is timely to be releasing it now,” said Chris. “In public law there are so many developments, with Brexit, reforms to human rights, judicial review, changes to the way elections are going to work with the repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. There’s lots of change in these areas, so it was fun to write, to bring them into the book and try to place them in a wider context.”

Chris specialises in constitutional law, accountability and the historic and contemporary use of impeachment. “I wanted to write a book that I could use to teach public law,” he said. “Something that I could use myself and that could be used at other law schools. It was trying to think from a student’s perspective - what would a student need to know, how would you explain this concept or controversial area to a student in a way that’s unbiased, but also that they could pick up and understand without having too much prior knowledge.”

Chris said though principally aimed at law students, he had aimed to make the book as inclusive as possible to everyone, from a student who has never studied law before to someone returning to the law, and with enough detail to allow students to do well. It has levels to work towards depending on your experience, diagrams and up to date examples of how complex theory works in practice, with a combination of historical and current events. For example, with parliamentary powers, it looks at historical events as to how the powers were controlled by the courts; powers that the Government and monarchy had and the courts would place restrictions on and how those were used.  But also it has more recent examples with the courts regulating the prerogative powers as in the case brought before the Supreme Court in 2019 that concerned the proroguing of Parliament.

Chris added: “Public law, with its coverage of politics, the constitution and constitutional history, as well as constitutional and administrative law, could appear to be at first sight off-putting to those new to the study of law, but this book aims to support those new to the study of law and explain those key areas in a way that’s both accessible and relevant.”

Public Law is published by Routledge and is available from any large book retailers.