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 Inaugural Lecture - Tom Lewis on 25 April

Professor Tom Lewis


Nottingham Law School

Staff Group(s)
Nottingham Law School staff


Thomas Lewis is a Professor at the Nottingham Law School. Tom teaches on the LLB modules in Public Law and Human Rights, and leads the LLM ‘Expression Rights’ module.  He has supervised multiple doctoral degrees to completion and as well as supervising dissertations across all the School’s programmes.

Tom is Director of the Law School’s Centre for Rights & Justice.

He was the coordinator of the School’s REF submission for REF 2021 and continues in this role for the forthcoming submission.

Career overview

Before entering academia Tom studied Jurisprudence and History at Jesus College, University of Oxford, before going on to qualify and practice as a solicitor, specialising in civil litigation at a major law firm.

Research areas

Tom has researched and written extensively in the field of human rights and constitutional law with a particular emphasis on freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Human Rights Act.  He currently working on the intersection of human rights, history, heritage and collective memory with particular reference to controversies over memorials such as statues in public space.   His work was included in the NTU Nottingham Law School RAE return 2008 and REF returns 2014 and 2021.

External activity

Tom does extensive outreach work with schools and museums across the UK, in particular, along with colleagues he has created a role-playing board game (Brave New World) to educate, through play, children and adults about human rights, constitutional law and political philosophy.

He also regularly speaks to audiences outside academia, including legal practitioners, prison inmates, NGOs and civil society organisations.

Sponsors and collaborators

Tom collaborates with Professor Peter Cumper, University of Leicester and Professor Javier Garcia Oliva, University of Manchester.

He has been in receipt of research income / participated in major research and pedagogy projects funded by the AHRC, The US State Department, and the Aspect Foundation.


What to do with the Buried Giant? Collective Historical Memory and Identity in the Freedom of Expression Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights’, Jill Marshall (ed) Personal Identity at the European Court of Human Rights (Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2022) (with P Cumper)

‘Religion, Belief and the European Court of Human Rights’ in G Davie and L Leustean (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Europe (OUP, 2021) (with P Cumper).

Blanket Bans, Subsidiarity, and the Procedural Turn of the European Court of Human Rights’ (2019) 68(3) International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 611—638 (with P Cumper).

‘Human Rights and Religious Litigation-Faith in the Law?’ (2019) 8(1) Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 121-150 (with P Cumper).

‘Empathy and Human Rights: the Case of Religious Dress’ (2018) 18(1) Human Rights Law Review (with P Cumper), 61-87.

‘At the deep end of the pool: religious offence and the margin of appreciation before the European Court of Human Rights’ in A Koltay and J Temperman (eds) Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo Massacre (CUP 2017) 259 – 293.

See all of Thomas Lewis's publications...