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Anne Davies

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Professor of Law and Public Policy

Anne Davies is Garrick Fellow and Tutor in Law at Brasenose College. She was awarded the title of Reader in Public Law in 2006, and the title of Professor of Law and Public Policy in 2010. She studied at Oxford, completing the BA (winning the Gibbs and Martin Wronker Prizes) and the D.Phil. She was a Prize Fellow at All Souls College from 1995 to 2001. Professor Davies is the author of five books and numerous articles in the fields of public law and labour law.

In public law, she has a particular interest in government contracts. Her D.Phil. thesis examined the phenomenon of contractualisation in the UK National Health Service from a public law perspective. She developed this research into a book entitled Accountability: A Public Law Analysis of Government by Contract which was published by Oxford University Press in 2001. Her book The Public Law of Government Contracts, a wider examination of public procurement and public/private partnership contracts from a public law perspective, was published by OUP in 2008. She continues to write about government contracts and about the NHS, and recently published a critical analysis of the latest round of NHS reforms in the Modern Law Review.

In labour law, Professor Davies is the author of three texts: Perspectives on Labour Law, published by Cambridge University Press in the Law in Context series in 2004, with a second edition in 2009, EU Labour Law, published by Elgar in 2012, and Employment Law, published by Pearson in 2015. Her interests in the labour law field are wide-ranging, encompassing international, European and domestic law. Her current focus is on job security, the contract of employment and issues surrounding casual work.

Professor Davies gives tutorials in Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Labour Law. She lectures in Labour Law for the faculty, and co-teaches the BCL/M.Jur. course in International and European Employment Law. She also contributes to classes for the Masters in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. She will take up office as Dean of the Oxford Law Faculty in October 2015.


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Journal Articles


A C L Davies, 'This Time, it’s for Real: the Health And Social Care Act 2012' (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 564 [...]

This article examines the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and associated reforms to the National Health Service in England. It focuses on the Act’s policy of making the NHS market more ‘real’, by both encouraging and compelling NHS bodies to act as ‘market players’. The article considers whether the reforms are compatible with the constitutional requirements of accountability for the provision of a public service such as the NHS. I argue that the reforms threaten accountability for three reasons: they make the Secretary of State for Health’s relationship with the NHS more complex, they create opaque networks of non-statutory bodies which may influence NHS decision-making, and (especially in relation to competition) they ‘juridify’ policy choices as matters of law. Taken together, these arguments suggest that there is force in the claim that the reforms will contribute to ‘creeping’ – and thus unaccountable - privatisation of the NHS.

ISBN: 0026-7961


A C L Davies, 'Identifying ‘Exploitative Compromises’: The Role Of Labour Law In Resolving Disputes Between Workers' (2012) Current Legal Problems 269 [...]

In recent years, labour law has been going through a period of deep introspection. Some commentators have gone so far as to pronounce the subject dead. One reason for the crisis is the realisation that labour law has the potential to exacerbate divisions between different groups in the workforce: between the employed and the unemployed, between those with stable jobs and those with ‘atypical’ jobs, between local workers and migrant workers, and so on. The ‘interests of labour’ are not, in reality, a unified set of interests to be pitted against those of capital. Whilst other writers are beginning to explore this set of issues at the policy level, the aim of this essay is to consider how the law addresses conflicts between workers on particular occasions and in particular workplaces, and to begin the task of mapping out this relatively neglected dimension of the subject on a more practical level.

ISBN: 0070-1998

A C L Davies, 'Recent Developments in Labour Law in the United Kingdom' (2012) Europaische Zeitschrift für Arbeitsrecht


A C L Davies, 'The Implementation of the Directive on Temporary Agency Work in the UK: A Missed Opportunity' (2010) 1 European Labour Law Journal 303 [...]

An analysis of the UK's implementation of the Temporary Agency Work Directive.

ISBN: 2013-9525

A C L Davies, 'Trade Union Recognition and Collective Bargaining in English Law' (2010) Europäische Zeitschrift für Arbeitsrecht 37 [...]

Text of a lecture delivered at the Siebtes Göttinger Forum zum Arbeitsrecht, Georg-August- Universität Göttingen


A C L Davies, 'Implementation of the Agency Work Directive in the UK' (2009) Revue de Droit du Travail 743 [...]

Discussion of the government's initial proposals for the implementation of the Temporary Agency Work Directive.

A C L Davies, 'Judicial Self-Restraint in Labour Law' (2009) 38 Industrial Law Journal 278 [...]

An exploration of the concept of 'deference' in the public law literature as applied to labour law cases.

ISBN: 0305-9332

A C L Davies, 'Sensible Thinking About Sham Transactions: Protectacoat Firthglow Ltd v Szilagyi' (2009) 38 Industrial Law Journal 318 [...]

Analysis of the development of the definition of 'sham' in the Protectacoat case, comparing it to the lease/licence case-law.


A C L Davies, 'Developments in English Labour/Employment Law 2004-2007' (2008) 2 Europaische Zeitschrift fur Arbeitsrecht 267

A C L Davies, 'One step forward, two steps back? The Viking and Laval cases in the ECJ' (2008) 37 Industrial Law Journal 126


A C L Davies, 'A tangled web? Accountability and the commissioning role in the "new" NHS' (2007) 18 King's Law Journal 387 [...]

Article analysing recent reforms in the primary care sector in the NHS from a public law perspective.

ISBN: 0961-5768

A C L Davies, 'The contract for intermittent employment' (2007) 36 Industrial Law Journal 102 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dwl043

Elaborates on Mark Freedland's work on the contract for intermittent employment in his book, The Personal Employment Contract.

ISBN: 0305-9332


A C L Davies, 'Le droit anglais face aux contrats administratifs: en l'absence de principes generaux garantissant l'interet public, une maison sans fondation?' (2006) 22(5) Revue Francaise de Droit Administratif 1039 [...]

Discussion of some of the problems with the English law of government contracts, for a French audience.

ISBN: 0763-1219

A C L Davies, 'Regno Unito - Lavori Occasionali e Continuita dell'Impiego: Riflessioni sul Caso Cornwall CC v Prater' (2006) Diritto delle Relazioni Industriali 1264 [...]

Casenote on Cornwall CC v Prater, in Italian!

A C L Davies, 'The Right to Strike Versus Freedom of Establishment in EC Law: The Battle Commences' (2006) 35 Industrial Law Journal 75 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dwj004

Commentary/extended casenote on Viking Line v ITF.

ISBN: 0305 9332

A C L Davies, 'Ultra Vires Problems in Government Contracts' (2006) 122(Jan) Law Quarterly Review 98


A C L Davies, 'Foundation Hospitals: A New Approach to Accountability and Autonomy in the Delivery of Public Services?' [2004] Public Law 808 [...]

Questions whether the government's proposals to create NHS Foundation Trusts will succeed in their aim of giving hospitals greater autonomy from Department of Health control.

ISBN: 0033-3565


A C L Davies, 'Mixed Signals: Using Educational and Punitive Approaches to Regulate the Medical Profession' [2002] 2002(Winter) Public Law 703


A C L Davies, 'The European Convention and Negligence Actions: Osman Reviewed' (2001) 117 Law Quarterly Review 521 [...]

Casenote on Osman v UK in the ECtHR

ISBN: 0421 755 407


A C L Davies and Christopher McCrudden, 'A perspective on trade and labor rights' (2000) Journal of International Economic Law 43 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/jiel/3.1.43

Discusses the tension between international trade and labour rights and considers various models for addressing this tension.

ISBN: 1369-3034

A C L Davies, 'Don\'t trust me, I\'m a doctor: medical regulation and the 1999 NHS reforms' (2000) 20 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 437 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/ojls/20.3.437

This article examines recent developments in the regulation of the medical profession, focusing in particular on the regulation of doctors working in the NHS. It critiques the government's more interventionist approach to regulation in the light of the socio-legal literature on effective regulatory strategies.

ISBN: 0143-6503



A C L Davies, Employment Law (Pearson (Longman Law Series) 2015) [...]

A comprehensive textbook on individual and collective employment law.

ISBN: 978-1-4082-6360-0


A C L Davies, EU Labour Law (Elgar (European Law Series) 2012) [...]

EU Labour Law is a concise, readable and thought-provoking introduction to the labour and employment law of the European Union. The book explores the subject’s major policy themes, examines the various procedures by which EU labour law is made, and analyses key topics such as worker migration, equality, working time and procedures for workers’ participation in employers’ decision-making. It sets the legal materials in their policy context and identifies the important issues which have shaped the development of EU labour law and are likely to determine its future, including the economic crisis and the debate about fundamental rights in the EU.

ISBN: 9781848449985


A C L Davies, Perspectives on Labour Law (2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Law in Context Series 2009) [...]

An exploration of human rights and economics perspectives on labour law.

ISBN: 978-0-521-72234-6


A C L Davies, The Public Law of Government Contracts (Oxford University Press 2008) [...]

This book analyses the law relating to government contracts from a public law perspective.

ISBN: 978-0-19-928739-0


A C L Davies, Perspectives on Labour Law (Cambridge University Press 2004)


A C L Davies, Accountability: a Public Law Analysis of Government by Contract (OUP 2001)



A C L Davies, 'Labour Law as Public Law' in A Bogg, C Costello, ACL Davies and J Prassl (eds), The Autonomy of Labour Law (Hart 2015)


A C L Davies, 'Half a Person: a Legal Perspective on Organising and Representing ‘Non-Standard’ Workers' in A Bogg and T Novitz (eds), Voices at Work: Continuity and Change in the Common Law (OUP 2014)

A C L Davies, 'Migrant Workers in Agriculture: A Legal Perspective' in C Costello and M Freedland (eds), Migrants at Work: Immigration and Vulnerability in Labour Law (OUP 2014)


A C L Davies, 'Beyond New Public Management: Problems of Accountability in the Modern Administrative State' in N Bamforth and P Leyland (eds), Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution (OUP 2013)

A C L Davies, 'Employment Law' in E Simpson and M Stewart (eds), Sham Transactions (OUP 2013)

A C L Davies, 'Regulating Atypical Work: Beyond Equality' in N Countouris and M Freedland (eds), Resocialising Europe in a Time of Crisis (Cambridge University Press 2013)

A C L Davies, 'The 'Constitutionalisation' of Labour Law: Possibilities and Problems' in KS Ziegler and PM Huber (eds), Current Problems in the Protection of Human Rights: Perspectives from Germany and the UK (Hart 2013)


A C L Davies, 'The Court of Justice as a Labour Court' in C Barnard and M Gehring with I Solanke (eds), Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies (Hart 2012)


Sophie Boyron and A C L Davies, 'Accountability and Public Contracts' in Rozen Noguellou and Ulrich Stelkens (eds), Treatise on the Comparative Law of Public Contracts (Bruylant 2011)

A C L Davies, 'Workers’ Human Rights in English Law' in Colin Fenwick and Tonia Novitz (eds), Legal Protection of Workers' Human Rights (Hart 2011)


A C L Davies, 'English Law’s Treatment of Government Contracts: The Problem of Wider Public Interests' in J.-B. Auby and M. Freedland (eds), The Public Law/Private Law Divide: une entente assez cordiale? (Hart Publishing 2006) [...]

Discussion of some of the ultra vires problems surrounding government contracts.

ISBN: 1-84113-635-2


A C L Davies, 'Should the EU have the power to set minimum standards for collective labour rights in the Member States?' in P. Alston (ed), Labour Rights as Human Rights (Oxford University Press 2005) [...]

This chapter in a volume of the Collected Courses of the Academy of European Law is based on a lecture series I gave at the European University Institute in Florence. It considers the EU's current role in the regulation of collective labour rights both internally and externally, and argues that the EU should have the power to set minimum standards for collective labour rights in the Member States.

ISBN: 0-19-928106-8


A C L Davies and Christopher McCrudden, 'A Perspective on Trade and Labour Rights' in F Francioni (ed), Environment, Human Rights and International Trade (Hart Publishing 2001) [...]

DOI: 10.1093/jiel/3.1.43

Sets out a 'map' of the issues arising in the relationship between international economic law and international labour rights.

ISBN: 1 84113 217 9


A C L Davies, 'Using contracts to enforce standards: the case of waiting times in the National Health Service' in C. McCrudden (ed), Regulation and Deregulation: Policy and Practice in the Utilities and Financial Services Industries (Oxford University Press 1999) [...]

A discussion of the role of sanctions in regulation, drawing on my empirical research on National Health Service contracts.

ISBN: 0-19-826881-5

Edited books


A Bogg, C Costello, A C L Davies and J Prassl (eds), The Autonomy of Labour Law (Hart 2015)

Case Notes


A C L Davies, 'Fixed-Term Employment in the European Schools: Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families v Fletcher; Duncombe v Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families' (2012) 2 European Labour Law Journal 182


A C L Davies, 'Casual Workers and Continuity of Employment' (2006) 35 Industrial Law Journal 196 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dwl015

Casenote on Cornwall CC v Prater (CA)

ISBN: 0305 9332

Other details

Correspondence address:

Brasenose College
Oxford OX1 4AJ

other affiliation(s):

Oxford Human Rights Hub

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