St John's College

Oxford, OX1 3JP

Other affiliations


01865 610872


Richard Ekins is a Tutorial Fellow in Law at St John's College and Professor of Law and Constitutional Government in the University of Oxford.  He received his BA, LLB (Hons) and BA (Hons) degrees from The University of Auckland, before going on to read for the BCL, MPhil and DPhil at Oxford. He has worked as a Judge's Clerk at the High Court of New Zealand at Auckland, and a Lecturer at Balliol College, and was a Senior Lecturer in Law at The University of Auckland for several years before moving (back) to Oxford.  He leads Policy Exchange's Judicial Power Project and, with Nick Barber, the Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government.


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  • R Ekins, 'Constitutional practice and principle in the Article 50 litigation' (2017) 133 Law Quarterly Review 347 [Case Note]
  • R Ekins, 'Objects of Interpretation' (2017) 32 Constitutional Commentary 1
  • R Ekins, 'Abortion, Conscience and Interpretation ' (2016) 132 Law Quarterly Review 6 [Case Note]
  • R Ekins, N Barber and P Yowell, 'Introduction' in N Barber, R Ekins, and P Yowell (eds), Lord Sumption and the Limits of the Law (Hart Publishing 2016)
  • R Ekins and G Verdirame, 'Judicial Power and Military Action' (2016) 132 Law Quarterly Review 206 [Case Note]
  • R Ekins, N Barber and P Yowell (eds), Lord Sumption and the Limits of the Law (Hart Publishing 2016)
  • R Ekins, 'Sentences, Statements, Statutes' (2016) Analisi & Diritto 321
  • R Ekins and N Barber, 'Situating Subsidiarity ' (2016) 61 American Journal of Jurisprudence 5
  • R Ekins, 'The Bounds of Compassion and the Dissolution of Nations' (2016) 2 Politics & Poetics 5
  • R Ekins, 'Amnesty and Abuse of Process ' (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review 196 [Case Note]
  • R Ekins, 'Human Rights and the Separation of Powers ' (2015) 33 University of Queensland Law Journal 217
  • R Ekins, 'Adoption, Intestacy and Interpretation' (2014) New Zealand Law Journal 329 [Case Note]
  • R Ekins, 'Facts, Reasons and Joint Action: Thoughts on the Social Ontology of Law' (2014) 45 Rechtstheorie 313
  • R Ekins, 'Interpretive Choice in Statutory Interpretation' (2014) 59 American Journal of Jurisprudence 1
  • R Ekins, 'Legislating Proportionately' in G Huscroft, B Miller and G Webber (eds), Proportionality and the Rule of Law: Rights, Justification, Reasoning (2014)
    ISBN: 9781107064072
  • R Ekins and J Goldsworthy, 'The Reality and Indispensability of Legislative Intentions' (2014) 36 Sydney Law Review 39
  • R Ekins, 'How to be a Free People' (2013) 58 American Journal of Jurisprudence 163
  • R Ekins, 'Constitutional Principle in the Laws of the Commonwealth' in R. George and J. Keown (eds), Reason, Morality and Law: The Jurisprudence of John Finnis (Oxford: OUP 2013)
    ISBN: 978-0199675500
  • R Ekins, 'Updating the Meaning of Violence' (2013) 129 Law Quarterly Review 17 [Case Note]
  • R Ekins, 'Equal Protection and Social Meaning' (2012) 57 American Journal of Jurisprudence 21
    ISBN: 0065-8995
  • R Ekins, 'Review of N. Barber, "The Constitutional State", (Oxford: OUP, 2010)' (2012) 128 The Law Quarterly Review 308 [Review]
  • R Ekins, The Nature of Legislative Intent (Oxford: OUP 2012)
    ISBN: 978-0199646999
  • R Ekins, 'Legislative Intent in Law’s Empire' (2011) 24 Ratio Juris 435
    ISBN: 0952-1917
  • R Ekins and C Huang, 'Reckless Lawmaking and Regulatory Responsibility' (2011) New Zealand Law Review 407
  • R Ekins and Mr Justice Sales, 'Rights-Consistent Interpretation and the Human Rights Act 1998' (2011) 127 Law Quarterly Review 217
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • R Ekins and C Huang, 'In Search of Better Lawmaking: Why the Regulatory Responsibility Bill won't deliver what it promises' (2011) Guest Paper, February 2011, Maxim Institute
  • R Ekins, 'Introduction' in R. Ekins (ed), Modern Challenges to the Rule of Law (Wellington: LexisNexis 2011)
  • R Ekins (ed), Modern Challenges to the Rule of Law (Wellington: LexisNexis 2011)
  • R Ekins, 'Rights, Interpretation and the Rule of Law' in R. Ekins (ed), Modern Challenges to the Rule of Law, (Wellington: LexisNexis 2011)
  • R Ekins, 'The Value of Representative Democracy' in C. Charters and D. Knight (eds), We the People(s): Participation in Governance (Wellington: Victoria University Press 2011)
  • R Ekins and W Brookbanks, 'Criminal Injustice and the Proposed "Three Strikes" Law' (2010) Guest Paper, April 2010, Maxim Institute
  • R Ekins, 'Reckless Lawmaking' (2010) New Zealand Law Journal 127
  • R Ekins, 'Regulatory Responsibility?' (2010) New Zealand Law Journal 25
  • R Ekins and W Brookbanks, 'The Case Against the 'Three Strikes' Sentencing Regime' (2010) New Zealand Law Review 689
  • R Ekins, 'The Intention of Parliament' [2010] Public Law 709
  • R Ekins, 'The Regulatory Responsibility Bill and the Constitution' (2010) 6 Policy Quarterly 9
  • R Ekins, ''Light Smacking' and Discretion' (2009) New Zealand Law Journal 427
  • R Ekins, 'A Government for the People: The value of representative democracy' (2009) Guest Paper, October 2009, Maxim Institute
  • R Ekins, 'Acts of Parliament and the Parliament Acts' (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 91
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • R Ekins, 'Acts of Parliament and the Parliament Acts' (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 91
  • R Ekins, 'Review of E. W. Thomas, "The Judicial Process: Realism, Pragmatism, Practical Reasoning and Principles", (Cambridge: CUP, 2005)' [2006] Public Law 870 [Review]
  • R Ekins, 'The Relevance of the Rule of Recognition' (2006) 31 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 95
  • R Ekins, 'Review of M. Loughlin, "The Idea of Public Law", (Oxford: OUP, 2003)' [2005] Public Law 636 [Review]
  • R Ekins, 'Secular Fundamentalism and Democracy' (2005) 8 Markets & Morality 81
  • R Ekins, 'The Authority of Parliament — A Reply to Professor Joseph' (2005) 16 King?s College Law Journal 51
  • R Ekins, S Hinek and J Ip, ''Appeal and Review', Chapter 13 in, Legislation Advisory Committee Guidelines: guidelines on process and content of legislation' (2003) Wellington
  • R Ekins, 'A Critique of Radical Approaches to Rights-Consistent Statutory Interpretation' (2003) European Human Rights Law Review 641
  • R Ekins, 'Judicial Supremacy and the Rule of Law' (2003) 119 Law Quarterly Review 127
  • R Ekins and J Ip, 'Legislative Confirmation and the Supreme Court' (2003) New Zealand Law Journal 151
  • R Ekins and J Ip, 'Opening Pandora's Box?' (2002) 124 New Zealand Law Journal 117
  • R Ekins and Justice Judith Potter, 'The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990: A Judicial Perspective' (2002) 12 Journal of Judicial Administration 85
  • R Ekins, 'Defence Counsel Incompetence and Post-Conviction Relief: An Analysis of How Adversarial Systems of Justice Assess Claims of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel' (2001) 9 Auckland University Law Review 529
  • R Ekins, J Ip and A Killeen, 'Undermining the Grundnorm?' (2001) 308 New Zealand Law Journal 299

Research projects