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Professor John Morison

Professor. John Morison - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
John Morison

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3089

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Research Interests

John Morison graduated from University College Cardiff with an LLB in 1979. After teaching in England and Wales, and researching for his PhD on theories of punishment he returned to his home city of Belfast in 1984 to take up the post of Lecturer in the Department of Public Law at Queen's University Belfast. In 1996 he was appointed as Professor of Jurisprudence at Queen's University. His books include The Barrister's World and the Nature of Law (with Philip Leith) (1992) Reshaping Public Power: Northern Ireland and the British Constitutional Problem (with Stephen Livingstone)(1995), and Crime Community and Locale (with David O'Mahony, Kieran McEvoy and Ray Geary) (2000) and the co-edited essay collections Law, Society and Change (1990), Tall Stories? Reading Law and Literature (1996) Voices, Spaces and Processes in Constitutionalism (2000), Judges, Transition, and Human Rights (2007) and Values in Global Administrative Law (2011). In addition, Professor Morison is author of some thirty or so chapters in various books and more than 50 articles in scholarly journals.

Professor Morison has worked on various empirical projects funded by government and research councils, including the social attitudes survey, a communities crime survey, European election law, public service provision and the modernising government agenda. He was one of the original applicants for the £5 million grant from Atlantic Philanthropy which established a new institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research in 2000 and which is now based in the School of Law.  Previous projects funded by the EU and others have included a Poros project with Law Schools in India and the ALFA II DIKIA II link which extended existing cooperation with Latin America. With colleagues from the Universities of Washington St Louis, Utrecht, University of Trento (Italy), and the Catholic University of Portugal he was a founder of the Transnational Law Programme which offers an innovative four year combined degree programme. He was one of the coordinators of an EU funded Asia Link project which was concerned with developing good governance and human rights in Mongolia and Indonesia. He has just concluded  an ESRC funded project on “What makes an important case? A Sociology of the creation and transmission of legal knowledge” (with G. Anthony) and in December 2011 he completed  an ESRC funded  project on Public Interest in the UK courts with Dr Gordon Anthony and Dr Dimtrios Doukas. Recently he has also finished an EU funded project on youth participation and the internet, and a project funded by the Changing Ageing Partnership on Hearing Older Voices which looks at e-engagement among older people. He is a member of the European Group of Public Law, and serves on the Board of the European Public Law Organisation as well as being a member of the Honorary Board of the European Academy of Public Law which runs an annual postgraduate education programme in Greece. He is also a member of the steering committee of the European Law and Governance School which is a new multi-country initiative.  Professor Morison is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Law and Society and on the Editorial boards of the European Journal of Law and Technology, the European Review of Public Law and the International Journal of Public Law and Policy and is a trustee of the Hamlyn Trust. He was  a member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council for two full terms until November 2013 and has served as a member of Panel A reviewing proposals for funding.  He is now a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Peer Review College and has acted as a reviewer for numerous overseas Government Research bodies. He was a member of the Task Force on Resourcing the Voluntary and Community, established by the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland. Professor Morison was one of the founders of the E-consultation Study Group which brings together experts from government and the private, voluntary and community sectors to explore how e-government can improve democratic participation. Professor Morison has been a speaker at many conferences and meetings in Europe, the USA and South Africa, including most recently as a plenary speaker at the  WG Hart Workshop and LVI 2013: Law via the Internet Conference.  Professor Morison was a previously a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit, University College London, Visiting Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London (supported by a grant from the British Academy) a visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town, a research fellow at the Institute of Governance at QUB supported by a grant from the Royal Irish Academy, and in 2007-08 a Visiting Research Chair at the Law School in the Universiteit of Utrecht. He is a member of the Higher Education Academy and has been or is currently an external examiner for universities in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, as well as for a number of continental PhDs. In 2005 Professor Morison was appointed to the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission  and re-appointed for a further four years from  2008-12. He is currently an Independent Board Member of the Legal Services Commmission / Legal Services Agency.  In March 2009 he was elected as a member of the Royal Irish Academy and is a member of its Academic Board as well as  the chair of the Academy's  Ethical, Political, Legal and Philosophical Committee
A previous Head of the School of Law, he is now Director of Internationalisation, and in this role was a founder of the innovative Juris Doctorate (JD) degree which attracts students from across the world to QUB.  


Professor Morison has taught across most subjects within the law curriculum and currently teaches public law at undergraduate and postgraduate level leading courses in Law and Governance in a Complex World at Masters level, Constitutional and Administrative Law for the Juris Doctorate and a popular final year option on Reshaping the Northern Ireland Constitution. 

Research Interests

Current research interests encompass constitutional law and theory as well as e-government and e-democracy. He is currently leading an interdisciplinary initiative funded by the Faculty looking at "Constitutional Futures".

Frequent Journals

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

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