PROFESSOR ADAM TOMKINS MSP

4th PAMELA THOMAS MEMORIAL LECTURE 2020

Wednesday 14 October, Webinar Lecture 6.30pm

DEMOCRACY, THE COURTS, AND THE SEPARATION OF POWERS

Adam Tomkins is one of the United Kingdom’s leading voices on constitutional issues.

After periods as academic lawyer at King’s College London and St Catherine’s College Oxford, in 2003 he was appointed to the John Millar Chair at Glasgow University. Tomkins is an Englishman, but has found Scotland a constitutionally interesting place to be and has remained in Scotland ever since.

His stature as a constitutional lawyer rose over the following years, with many publications, including his contributions to two volumes of Sceptical Essays on human rights. His textbook, British Government and the Constitution (with Colin Turpin), ran through many editions and has become one of the most widely used works in the field.  

Some of his university colleagues were reported to have been shocked when this universally admired academic became connected with the Conservative Party, accepting appointment by Ruth Davidson to a commission she established under Lord Strathclyde in the run up to the Scottish referendum in 2014:  the Commission recommended policies notably more sympathetic to devolution than any previously proposed by the Conservative Party, including the partial devolution of income tax. He started writing a blog which became a widely read as one of the most intelligent voices attacking the SNP’s misleading propaganda. Following the referendum he was one of the Conservative Party’s two nominees on the Smith Commission, whose recommendations shaped the Scotland Act 2016.

He then announced his intention to stand for the Scottish Parliament as a Conservative candidate. In the 2016 election he was elected for the Glasgow region, since when he has been a key member of the Conservative team in the Scottish Parliament.

Much water having flowed under the political bridge since his previous publications, his delivery of a major lecture on constitutional questions is eagerly awaited. 

INTRODUCED BY

Lord Hunt of Wirral MBE

Chair of the Society of Conservative Lawyers

CHAIRED BY

Sir Bob Neill MP

Chair of the Justice Committee, House of Commons; Chair of the Executive Committee of the SCL

The Society of Conservative Lawyers is an association of lawyers who support or are sympathetic to the aims of the Conservative Party. Members hold a range of different views within those parameters. All publications by the Society reflect he personal opinion of the author and do not represent legal advice or a corporate view of the Society.

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