Denis Galligan

Emeritus Professor of Socio-Legal Studies

Other affiliations

Wolfson College


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.




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