Professor Emeritus of Administrative Law

View my full research profile

Research Interests

Chris Himsworth has research interests which range across much of the field of public law. Recent publications have focused on constitutional law in Scotland, administrative law (especially judicial review), and local government law. 


Professor Chris Himsworth's Homepage at Edinburgh Law School

Research Interests

Chris Himsworth has research interests which range across much of the field of public law. Recent publications have focused on constitutional law in Scotland, administrative law (especially judicial review), and local government law. 


Professor Chris Himsworth's Homepage at Edinburgh Law School

Books and Reports

Christopher Himsworth, Christine O'Neill, Scotland's Constitution: Law and Practice, (Bloomsbury Professional, 2015)
Abstract: Scotland's Constitution: Law and Practice, 3rd edition is a clear, comprehensive account of the Scottish dimension of constitutional law within its UK and European context. It describes and analyses constitutional arrangements while integrating that analysis with a general background to constitutional law and the UK institutions which have a continuing relevance for the government of Scotland. This highly regarded text considers law-making powers for Scotland, the legislative process at Westminster and at Holyrood, the accountability and scrutiny of government, the independence of the judiciary and the role of the courts in interpreting and adjudicating upon constitutional and administrative law questions. The third edition has been fully updated throughout and incorporates changes brought about by the Scotland Act 2012. There is expanded consideration of the constitutional review of Acts of the Scottish Parliament. This edition also includes coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum. This text provides an essential introduction to constitutional law for law students and for others with a general interest in this subject. Contents: Constitutions and Constitutional Law; Constitutional Law and Constitutional Values; The Scottish Constitutional Context; The UK and Scottish Parliaments; Law-Making Competences for Scotland; The UK Government and the Scottish Executive; Local Authorities and Other Public Bodies; Law-Making Procedures; The Parliamentary Accountability of Government; Public Finance; Courts and the Independence of Judiciary; Public Law Adjudication. Previous print edition ISBN: 9781847663184

Christopher Himsworth, The European Charter of Local Self-Government: A Treaty for Local Democracy, (Edinburgh University Press, 2015)

Alan Boyle, Andrea Loux, Hector MacQueen, Christopher Himsworth, Human Rights and Scots Law: Comparative Perspectives on the Incorporation of the ECHR, (Hart Publishing, 2002)
Abstract: Essays analysing the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 in Scots law, with comparative reference to other systems. Includes essays on the Human Rights Act and Scotland Act, human rights and the law of crime, property, employment, family and private life.

Christopher Himsworth, Colin Munro, The Scotland Act 1998, (W Green, 2000)

Christopher Himsworth, Colin Munro, Devolution and the Scotland Bill, (W Green, 1998)

Neil Walker, Wilson Finnie, Christopher Himsworth, Edinburgh Essays in Public Law, (Edinburgh University Press, 1991)


Christopher Himsworth, 'Transplanting Irrationality from Public to Private Law: Braganza v BP Shipping Ltd', (2019), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 23, pp 1-21
Abstract: For many years, similarities have been noticed between the motivations for, and the methods of, controlling the exercise of discretionary powers on the one hand, in public law and, on the other hand, in contract law. There has, however, been much disagreement about how far the two processes should aligned, and whether the grounds of review in public law should be extended into the contractual domain. In Braganza v BP Shipping Ltd [2015] UKSC 17, the UK Supreme Court sought a high degree of alignment through the adoption, in a contractual dispute, of public law standards of reasonableness. This article offers a critique of the Court's arguments in the case and its consequences for contract law.

Christopher Himsworth, 'Escape from nullity? Readdressing the consequences of unlawfulness in administrative law ', (2018), Juridical Review, pp 151

Christopher Himsworth, 'Asking the people a second time: The constitutional politics of a second referendum on Scottish Independence', (2017), Percorsi Costituzionali, pp 407

Christopher Himsworth, 'Legislating for permanence and a statutory footing ', (2016), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 20, pp 361-367

Christopher Himsworth, 'Jurisdictional aspects of Judicial Review in Scots Law ', (2015), Juridical Review, pp 353-362

Christopher Himsworth, 'Doing Judicial Review in the Post-Eba Era: A v Secretary of State for the Home Department', (2014), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 18, pp 395-400

Christopher Himsworth, 'Prospects for Codifying the Relationship between Central and Local Government ', (2013), Public Law, pp 702-10

Christopher Himsworth, 'Letter to the Editor ', (2013), Scots Law Times, pp 270

Christopher Himsworth, 'Citizen Access to the Government's Case? ', (2012), Public Law, pp 1-3

Christopher Himsworth, 'At the Interface of Public and Private: Docherty v Scottish Ministers', (2012), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 16, pp 92-95

Neil Walker, Christopher Himsworth, 'The Poll Tax and Fundamental Law ', (1991), Juridical Review, pp 45-78

Neil Walker, Christopher Himsworth, 'Where Rates and Charges Meet ', (1989), Juridical Review, pp 189-95


Christopher Himsworth, '"North, South, East and West – the devolution revolution is taking hold” But are ‘devolution deals’ devolution?' in Ludmilla Malikova, Stephane Guerard (ed.) Metropolitisation, Regionalisation, and Rural Intermunicipal Cooperation (Institut Universitaire Varenne 2018)

Christopher Himsworth, 'Scotland From Devolution to Federalism?' in Scotland (Horitsu Bunka Sha 2018) 107-124
Abstract: (Published in Japanese)

Christopher Himsworth, 'Judicial Review in Scotland ' in Helen Fenwick (ed.) Supperstone, Goudie & Walker (LexisNexis 2017) 915

Christopher Himsworth, 'Das Vereinigte Königreich Die Evolution der Devolution' in Anna Gamper (ed.) Föderale Kompetenzverteilung in Europa (Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 2016) 377

Christopher Himsworth, 'The Autonomy of Devolved Scotland ' in Yash Ghai, Sophia Woodman (ed.) Practising Self-Government (Cambridge University Press 2013) 349-82

Working Papers

Christopher Himsworth, 'The Autonomy of Devolved Scotland ' 2011
Abstract: The paper explores the institutions and procedures by which the devolution settlement under the Scotland Act 1998 has delivered to Scotland the degree of autonomy it currently enjoys, including consideration of legislative and executive competences, funding arrangements and relationships between tiers of government.

Christopher Himsworth, 'Treaty-Making for Standards of Local Government: The European Charter of Local Self-Government and its Possible Application Beyond Europe' 2011
Abstract: The paper takes a critical look at the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government 1985 and considers the question whether its terms and mode of implementation have the potential for application beyond (the countries of the Council of) Europe.

Christopher Himsworth, 'Devolved Human Rights ' 2011
Abstract: The reception into Scotland of human rights protection under the ECHR and the Human Rights Act 1998 has turned out to be both problematic and controversial as a result of the combination of the devolution settlement under the Scotland Act 1998 and the separate legal system of Scotland since the Union of 1707. The paper explores the ways in which, in particular, the conflicts which have arisen as to which court should make final decisions on human rights issues have achieved an iconic status in the relationship between the Scottish and UK Governments.