Professor Emeritus of Administrative Law

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

Recent Publications

Himsworth, C. (2016) Legislating for permanence and astatutory footing. In : Edinburgh Law Review. 20, 3, p. 361-367 7 p. 

 'Jurisdictional aspects of judicial review in Scots law' (2015) Juridical Review 353-362


Chris Himsworth, Christine ONeill Scotland's Constitution: Law and Practice (3rd edn) (Bloomsbury Professional, 2015)

Chris Himsworth The European Charter of Local Self-Government (Edinburgh University Press, 2015)

Chris Himsworth, Christine ONeill Scotland's Constitution:Law and Practice (2nd ed) (Bloomsbury Professional, 2009)

Chris Himsworth, CM ONeill Scotland's Constitution: Law and Practice (Butterworths, 2003)
Abstract: Significant areas of constitutional law are of general application throughout the UK. Nevertheless, factors such as the existence of a distinct Scottish legal system, some measure of separate recognition within law-making and parliamentary procedure and, particularly, the establishment of a devolved Parliament for Scotland means that there are materials, questions and concerns which are exclusively Scottish in nature. This new text concentrates on the Scottish dimension of constitutional law while setting the subject in its UK and European context.

Chris Himsworth, Colin Munro The Scotland Act 1998 (2nd ed) (W. Green, 2000)

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

Chris Himsworth Local Government Law in Scotland (LexisNexis UK, 1995)
Abstract: The text of this new study of local govenment law in Scotland takes account of the structual changes which were implemented in the period up to reorganisation in April 1996. The book has chapters on local authority powers and the organisation of local authority business; local government finance; audit; the local ombudsman; and local authorities and the courts. There is also discussion of the constitutional role of local authorities; the different forms of involvement by the public (whether as electors, citizens or consumers) in local government; and Scottish Office controls over authorities and their work. The emphasis of the book is not a detailed analysis of the law relating to local authority functions but upon the legal framework within which they are exercised. The book is primarily aimed at students (of law or of related disciplines) but will also be of value to all who have an involvement in or contact with Scottish local government.

Chris Himsworth Housing Law in Scotland (4th ed) (Butterworths Law (Scotland), 1994)
Abstract: A comprehensive guide to housing law in Scotland, this text takes account of the changing nature of housing law and includes material on private sector tenancies. It covers new case law, and recent legislation, and discusses the proposed local government reforms.

Chris Himsworth, Neil Walker The Scottish Community Charge (W Green and Son, Edinburgh, 1989)

Edited Books

Alan Boyle, Chris Himsworth, Hector MacQueen, Andrea Loux Human Rights and Scots Law (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.

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

Journal Articles

Chris Himsworth 'The Supreme Court reviews the Review of Acts of the Scottish Parliament' (2012) Public Law 205-213

Chris Himsworth 'Inter-jurisdictional error of law in the review of construction adjudication' (2010) Juridical Review 307-332

Chris Himsworth 'Licensing and disproportionality' (2009) Juridical Review 289-298

Chris Himsworth 'Conflicting interpretations of a relationship: damages for human rights breaches' (2008) Edinburgh Law Review 321-326

Chris Himsworth 'Devolution and its Jurisdictional Asymmetries' (2007) Modern Law Review Vol 70 Issue 1 pp 31-58

Chris Himsworth 'Remedies against the Crown in the House of Lords' (2006) Edinburgh Law Review 10 282-290

Chris Himsworth 'Continuing Asymmetries in the New Logic of the Devolution Settlement' (2005) Wales Journal of Law and Policy Vol 4 24

Chris Himsworth 'Jurisdictional Divergences over the Reasonable Time Guarantee in Criminal Trials' (2004) Edinburgh Law Review Vol 8 255

Chris Himsworth, Paterson, Alan 'A Supreme Court for the United Kingdom: Views from the Northern Kingdom' (2004) Legal Studies Vol 24 Issues 1 and 2 pp 99-118

Chris Himsworth 'Subordinate Legislation in the Scottish Parliament' (2002) Edinburgh Law Review Vol 6 356

Chris Himsworth 'Devolution and the Mixed Legal System of Scotland' (2002) Juridical Review 115

Chris Himsworth 'Securing the tenure of Scottish judges: a somewhat academic exercise' (1999) Public Law pp14-22

Chris Himsworth 'La proporcionalidad en el Reino Unido' (1998) Derecho Publico pp273 - 286 Vol 5

Chris Himsworth 'New Devolution: New Dangers for Local Government' (1998) Scottish Affairs Vol 24 pp6-28

Chris Himsworth 'Los procesos de descentralización y sus impactos en las Administraciones locales (análisis de la experiencia escocesa)' (1998) Revista Vasca de Administración Pública pp195-215 Vol 52

Chris Himsworth 'Things Fall Apart: The Harmonisation of Community Judicial Protection Revisited' (1997) European Law Journal Vol 22 pp291-311

Chris Himsworth 'In a State No Longer: The End of Constitutionalism?' (1996) Public Law pp 639-660

Chris Himsworth, Neil Walker 'The Poll Tax and Fundamental Law' (1991) Juridical Review Spring pp45-78

Chris Himsworth, Neil Walker 'Where Rates and Charges Meet' (1989) Juridical Review pp 189-195

Chris Himsworth, Neil Walker 'After Rates? The Community Charge in Scotland' (1987) Public Law pp 586-616


Chris Himsworth 'Reassessing Local Autonomy under Devolution in Scotland' in E Cherrier, S Guerard (eds) La Regionalisation en Europe:Regards Croises (Bruylant, 2014) 313-339

Chris Himsworth 'The Autonomy of Devolved Scotland' in Yash Ghai, Sophia Woodman (eds) Practising Self-Government:a Comparative Study of Autonomous Regions (CUP, 2013) 349-382

Chris Himsworth 'Devoluted Rights' in Conor Gearty, Costas Douzinas (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Human Rights Law (CUP, 2012) 231-248

Chris Himsworth 'Local Government in the United Kingdom' in A-M Moreno (eds) Local Government in the Member States of the European Union (INAP, 2012) 663-683

Chris Himsworth 'Human Rights at the Interface of State and Substate: the case of Scotland' in Tom Campbell, KD Ewing, Adam Tomkins (eds) The Legal Protection of Human Rights: Sceptical Essays (OUP, 2011) 66-86

Chris Himsworth 'Parliamentary Accountability: Aspiration or Reality?' in C Jeffery, J Mitchell (eds) The Scottish Parliament 1999-2009 (Hansard Society/Luath Press, 2009) 57-62

Chris Himsworth 'Local Government in Scotland' in A McHarg and T Mullen (eds) Public Law in Scotland (Avizandum, 2006) 154-173

Chris Himsworth 'The Domesticated Executive of Scotland' in Paul Craig and Adam Tomkins (eds) The Executive and Public Law: Power and Accountability in Comparative Process (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Chris Himsworth 'L'impatto della devolution sul Parlamento di Westminster' in C. Decaro (eds) Parlamenti e devolution in Gran Bretagna (Luiss University Press, 2005)

Chris Himsworth 'Judicial Review in Scotland' in James Goudie, Paul Walker and Michael Supperstone (eds) Judicial Review (3rd ed) (Butterworths Law, 2005)

Chris Himsworth, P Maguire and L J Edwards 'Devolution' in James Goudie, Paul Walker and Michael Supperstone (eds) Judicial Review (3rd ed) (Butterworths Law, 2005)

Chris Himsworth 'La Devoluzione in Tema di Pianificazione e di Ambiente: Il Caso Scozzese' in Stefano Civitarese Matteucci, Erminio Ferrari, and Paolo Urbani (eds) Il Governo del Territorio (Pubblicazioni dell'Associazione Italiana di Diritto Urbanistico, 2003)

Chris Himsworth 'Convergence and Divergence in Administrative Law' in Neil Walker, Paul Beaumont and Carole Lyons (eds) Convergence and Divergence in European Public Law (Hart Publishing, 2002)

Chris Himsworth 'The Hamebringing: Devolving Rights Seriously' in Alan Boyle, Chris Himsworth, Hector MacQueen, Andrea Loux (eds) Human Rights and Scots Law (Hart Publishing, 2002) 19-38

Chris Himsworth 'Rights versus Devolution' in Tom Campbell, Keith Ewing, and Adam Tomkins (eds) Sceptical Essays on Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2001)

Chris Himsworth 'Reassessing Local Autonomy under Devolution in Scotland' in Reinhard Zimmermann (eds) A History of Private Law in Scotland, II: Obligations (Oxford University Press, 2000) 313-339

Chris Himsworth 'Judicial Review in the Court of Session' in Trevor Buck (eds) Judicial Review and Social Welfare (Pinter , 1998) pp.271-290

Chris Himsworth 'Unsustainable Developments in Lawmaking for Environmental Liability?' in Tim Hayward, John O'Neill (eds) Justice, Property and the Environment: Social and Legal Perspectives (Ashgate, 1997) pp.161-177

Chris Himsworth 'No Standing Still on Standing' in Peter Leyland, Terry Woods (eds) Administrative Law Facing the Future: Old Constraints and New Horizons (Blackstone Press , 1997) pp.200-220

Chris Himsworth 'Judicial Review in Scotland' in James Goudie, Paul Walker and Michael Supperstone (eds) Judicial Review (1997) (Butterworths, 1997) ch.19

Chris Himsworth 'Public Law - In Peril of Neglect?' in Hector MacQueen Scots Law into the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of W. A. Wilson (W. Green / Sweet & Maxwell, 1996) pp.224-235

Chris Himsworth, A.W. Bradley 'Reissue of Administrative law' in Robert Black, Hamish Henderson, Joseph M. Thomson, Kenneth Miller (eds) The Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia (Butterworths, 1988) 199pp


Chris Himsworth 'Devolution: Its Effects on the Practice of Legislation at Westminster', (appended to the 15th Report (2003-2004) of the Select Committee on the Constitution, House of Lords (HL Paper 192, 2004)) (House of Lords, UK Parliament, 2004)

Notes and Reviews

Chris Himsworth 'Doing Judicial Review in the Post-Eba Era: A v Secretary of State for the Home Departme' (2014) Edinburgh Law Review 18 395-400

Chris Himsworth 'A case demanding suitable further treatment: M v Scottish Ministers' (2014) Edinburgh Law Review 109-114

Chris Himsworth 'Letter to the editor' (2013) Scots Law Times 270

Chris Himsworth 'Prospects for codifying the relationship between central and local government' (2013) Public Law 702-710

Chris Himsworth 'At the interface of public and private: Docherty v Scottish Ministers' (2012) Edinburgh Law Review 92-95

Chris Himsworth 'Citizen access to the government's case?' (2012) Public Law 1-3

Chris Himsworth 'Judicial review of Acts of the Scottish Parliament' (2011) Scots Law Times 101-103

Chris Himsworth 'The Upper Tribunal in the higher courts' (2011) Edinburgh Law Review 92-97

Chris Himsworth 'Nothing special about that? Martin v HM Advocate in the Supreme Court' (2010) Edinburgh Law Review 487-492

Chris Himsworth 'Presiding Officer Statements on the Competence of Bills' (2007) Edinburgh Law Review (11) 397-401

Chris Himsworth 'Inter-jurisdictional Questions in Judicial Review' (2007) Edinburgh Law Review (11) 277-283

Chris Himsworth 'Planning Rights Convergence: A Note on County Properties and Alconbury' (2002) Edinburgh Law Review Vol 6 253

Chris Himsworth 'Local Government and the Scottish Parliament' (1999) Journal of Local Government Law pp9-12

Working Papers

Chris Himsworth 'Devolved Human Rights', Edinburgh Law School Working Paper Series, 2011/22 (SSRN, 2011) [Download]
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.

Chris Himsworth 'Treaty-Making For Standards Of Local Government: The European Charter Of Local Self-Government And Its Possible Application Beyond Europe', Edinburgh Law School Working Paper Series, 2011/24 (SSRN, 2011) [Download]
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.

Chris Himsworth 'The Autonomy of Devolved Scotland', Edinburgh Law School Working Paper Series, 2011/23 (SSRN, 2011) [Download]
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.