Adam Tomkins

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Adam Tomkins
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
Assumed office
Personal details
Political party Scottish Conservative Party
Alma mater University of East Anglia
London School of Economics
Profession Legal scholar

Professor Adam Tomkins is a legal scholar and John Millar Professor of Public Law at the School of Law of the University of Glasgow. Tomkins was elected a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow in the Scottish Parliament election, 2016.[1] He is shadow cabinet secretary for communities, social security, the constitution and equalities.[2] Until 2015 Tomkins was constitutional advisor to the House of Lords Constitution Committee. From 2015 he has acted as constitutional advisor to the Scotland Office and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell.


Tomkins was educated at Gillingham School, the University of East Anglia (LL.B., 1990) and the London School of Economics (LL.M.).[3] He taught at the School of Law of King's College London between 1991 and 2000 and became a fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford in 2000, before being elected to the John Millar Chair of Law at Glasgow in 2003.[3][4] His research interests lie in constitutional theory and history, British, EU and comparative constitutional law, and republicanism.[4]

Professor Tomkins has published seven books[3] in the areas of constitutional, administrative and European Union law, including two, Public Law (2003) and British Government and the Constitution (2007, with Colin Turpin), which are amongst the most widely used by law students in the United Kingdom.[5]

Professor Tomkins was a supporter of the group, Republic, a British republican organisation advocating the replacement of the monarchy with a democratically elected head of state,[6][7] Tomkins published Our Republican Constitution, a republican re-interpretation of the United Kingdom's constitution[3] which claims that the constitution is deeply influenced by republican principles, despite its monarchic nature.[8]

Professor Tomkins has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Toronto, Queensland and New South Wales and the Australian National University, and has lectured throughout the world.[5] In April 2009, Professor Tomkins became associated with Ampersand, a stable at the Faculty of Advocates, as part of its Ampersand Academics link between practitioners and academics. Professor Douglas Brodie, former head of the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh, has also joined this project. In the summer of 2009 he was appointed legal adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.


During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum Tomkins was a leading unionist campaigner.[9]

After the referendum Tomkins was one of two Scottish Conservative representatives appointed to the Smith Commission. He has also been appointed as unpaid adviser to Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell during the passage of the Scotland Bill through parliament.[10]

In August 2015, Tomkins announced his intention to stand as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish Conservatives in the 2016 elections. In a blog explaining his decision, he was highly critical of the Scottish National Party's actions in government at Holyrood, and praised many policies of the Conservative government at Westminster, including Iain Duncan Smith's "outstanding" benefit reforms.[11] He was elected a list member of the Scottish Parliament for the Glasgow Region in the Scottish Parliament election, 2016.


From British Library catalogue (Accessed October 2015).

  • Understanding human rights. (1996, London: Mansell edited by Conor Gearty and Adam Tomkins)
  • The constitution after Scott: government unwrapped (1998)
  • Devolution and the British constitution (1998)
  • Sceptical essays on human right (2001: edited by Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing, and Adam Tomkins)
  • Public Law (2003)
  • Our Republican constitution (2005)
  • The executive and public law : power and accountability in comparative perspective (2006: edited by Paul Craig and Adam Tomkins)
  • European Union public law : text and materials (2007: Damian Chalmers, Adam Tomkins)
  • British government and the constitution: text and materials (2011: Colin Turpin, Adam Tomkins)
  • The legal protection of human rights : sceptical essays (2011: edited by Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing and Adam Tomkins)


  1. "Nicola Sturgeon celebrates third term as Tories head for second place". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Scottish Conservative appointments for new parliamentary term". Scottish Conservative Party. Retrieved 26 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "oxford INTELLECT: Adam Tomkins". University of Oxford. Retrieved 2009-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "University of Glasgow :: School of Law :: Adam Tomkins". University of Glasgow School of Law. Retrieved 2009-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Ampersand Academics - Professor Adam Tomkins". Ampersand Advocates. Retrieved 2015-10-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Republic: Supporters". Republic. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. " - Our Republican Constitution eBook". Retrieved 2009-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Duffy, Judith. "'I am being forced to choose ... would I want to stay in an independent Scotland as a No voter?'". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 29 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Constitutional expert appointed as Mundell adviser". Scottish Legal News. ScottishLegal.Com. Retrieved 29 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>