DCL 2000, BCL 1974, MA 1976, LL.B. (Queensland) 1970
Barrister Gray's Inn 1996 and Queensland
1971, Rhodes Scholar for Queensland 1971, Br Acad Wolfson Research Fellow 1981
Professor of Socio-Legal Studies 1993 - 2017
Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies  1993 - 2008
University of Oxford, and Professorial Fellow, Wolfson College, 1993- continuing​
Formerly: Lecturer, UCL, 1974-76, Fellow, Jesus College. Oxford, and CUF Lecturer, 1976-81, Senior Lecturer Melbourne, 1982-84, Professor of Law 1985-93, Dean 1987-90. Southampton, Professor of Law, Sydney, 1990-92.

Denis Galligan is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. He is a Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford.

Professor Galligan is also Jean Monnet Professor of European Public Law at the Universita’ degli Studi di Siena and is a Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Previous posts include a Tutorial Fellow at Jesus College Oxford and chairs at Southampton University and Sydney University. For several years he was a Visiting Professor at the Central European University in Budapest.

Professor Galligan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Law, Justice, and Society, an independent institution affiliated with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and based at Wolfson College Oxford, whose objective is to study the role of law in contemporary societies and bring the fruits of academic research to a wider professional audience.


Professor Galligan has considerable experience of constitutions, public law, government, and public administration in the new democracies of east Europe and has worked with the OECD, the Open Society, and the World Bank.
He was involved in constitutional and legal reform in Pakistan in collaboration with the British Department for International Development.





Displaying 1 - 26 of 26. Sorted by year, then title.
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  • D J Galligan, 'The People, the Constitution, and the Idea of Representation' in D. J. Galligan and E. Versteeg (eds), The Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions (Cambridge University Press 2013)
    ISBN: 9781107032880
  • D J Galligan, 'The Sovereignty Deficit of Modern Constitutions' (2013) 33 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming)
    A study of the sixty-five constitutions of the nations ranked most democratic shows how the people are presented and the severe sovereignty deficit.
    ISBN: 0143-6503
  • D J Galligan, 'A Moment Missed: The Levellers and the Constitution' in D. J. Galligan (ed), Constitutions and the Classics (Oxford University Press (confirmation pending) 2013) (forthcoming)
  • D J Galligan, 'Discretion Revisited: From Autonomy to Sound Judgement' in A. Ruiz Ojeda (ed), To be settled (to be entered 2013) (forthcoming)
    A reassessment of the concept of discretion in the regulatory context, the argument being that discretion as autonomy has to be modified by discretion in its original meaning as sound judgement.
  • D J Galligan and M. Versteeg, 'Theoretical Perspectives on the Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions' in D. J. Galligan and M. Versteeg (eds), The Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions (Cambridge University Press 2013) (forthcoming)
    The essay examines several theoretical approaches to the social and political understanding of constitutions
    ISBN: 9781107032880
  • D J Galligan and Z. H. Zafirov, Discretionary Powers in Macedonia (OSCE (Organizatioin for Security and Cooperation in Europe) 2011)
  • D J Galligan, 'Legal Theory and Empirical Research' in P. Cane and H. Kritzer (eds), Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Studies (Oxford University Press 2010)
    ISBN: 9780199542475
  • D J Galligan (ed), Judicial Review of Administrative Action in English Law (Giuffre' 2008)
  • D J Galligan, 'A Social Account of Law' (2007) 3 AEGIS (Analyse Economique et Gestionnaire des Institutions et des Strategies) 1
  • D J Galligan and M. Matczak, Formalism in Post-Communist Courts: Empirical Study of Judicial Discretion in Polish Administrative Courts Deciding Business Cases (Vanden Broele, Bruge 2007)
  • D J Galligan, Law in Modern Society (OUP 2006)
    ISBN: 0-19-926978-5
  • D J Galligan, 'Administrative Procedure Codes After Communism' in (ed), Melanges Offerts a Jaques Van den linden (Bruylant 2005)
  • D J Galligan, 'Citizens’ Rights and Participation in the Regulation of Biotechnology' in F. Francioni (ed), The Impact of Biotechnologies on Human Rights (European University Institute 2005)
  • D J Galligan and D Sandler, 'Implementing Human Rights' in S. Halliday and P. Schmidt (eds), Human Rights Brought Home (Hart Publishing 2004)
    ISBN: 1-84113-388-4
  • D J Galligan and D. Bilak, Administrative Justice Reform in Bulgaria: Necessity and Opportunity (Ministry of Justice, Sofia 2003)
  • D J Galligan and Marina Kurkchiyan (eds), Law and Informal Practices in Post-Communist Societies (Oxford 2003)
  • D J Galligan, 'Legal Failure: Law and Social Norms in Post-Communist Europe' in Galligan and Kurkchiyan (eds), Law and Informal Practices:The Post-Communist Experience (OUP 2003)
    ISBN: 0199259364
  • D J Galligan, 'Principal Institutions and Mechanisms of Accountability' in R. V. Van Puymbroeck (ed), Comprehensive Legal and Judicial Development (World Bank, Washington 2001)
  • D J Galligan, 'Public Administration and the Tendency to Authoritarianism' in A. Sajo’ (ed), The Constitution of Democracy: The Law of Authoritarian Democracies and Authoritarianism in Democracy (Klewer 2001)
  • D J Galligan, Western Concepts of Administrative Law (Moscow, Russian Edition 2001)
  • D J Galligan, 'Authoritarianism in Government and Administration: The Promise of Administrative Justice' in Michael Freeman (ed), Current Legal Problems 2001 (Volume 54) (OUP 2001)
    ISBN: 0-19-924780-3
  • D J Galligan, (2000)
  • D J Galligan, 'Discretionary Powers in Macedonia: Nature, Exercise, and Control' (2000) OSCE (Organizatioin for Security and Cooperation in Europe) as above
    Presentation made to judges, lawyers, governemnt officials, and representatives of non-governemntal bodies in Skopje Macedonia. This was an OSCE funded project to improve the quality of administrative government in the Republic of Macedonia
  • D J Galligan, 'Formalism in Polish Administrative Law Cases ' (2000) Ernst and Young Warsaw Good Governance In Poland
    Presentation of empirical research to an audience of judges, government officilas, and non -governemnt bodies
  • D J Galligan, 'Invited to act as an expert wirness in large arbitration on the basis of empirical research into the Polish legal system' (2000)
    On the basis of empirical research conducted on the Polish legal system, I was asked to be an expert witness in an international arbitration between Vivendi and Republic of Poland. I offered expert advice to Vivendi which, partly on the basis of such advice, secured a very substantial settlement from the Republic of Poland.

Research projects

Research programmes

Research Interests

Theories of law and society; Theories of law and state; Public law and the legal regulation of government; Social basis of constitutional and administrative law; Procedures and procedural justice; Discretionary powers in government; Implementation of law; Law and society in transitional societies

Options taught

Administrative Law, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law (Senior Status), Law in Society, Principles of Civil Procedure

Research projects