Tom is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law as well as a Tutorial Fellow at St Catherine's College. He works in legal philosophy, with special interest in questions relating to social ontology, as well as theoretical aspects of constitutional and administrative law.
Tom read for the BA in Jurisprudence and BCL at St Peter's College, Oxford. He then went on to complete the DPhil in Law at Balliol College, Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Leslie Green. Prior to coming to St Catherine's Tom was a Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He has held visiting positions at New York University School of Law and University of Chicago Law School.
- This paper challenges the widely held assumption that H.L.A. Hart endorsed in The Concept of Law a fatally flawed theory of rules known as ‘the practice theory’. In the first section I lay out the practice theory. The second section marshals evidence of the theory’s inconsistency with central aspects of Hart’s philosophy of law, in particular his insistence on the distinction between the validity and efficacy of legal rules. In section three I revisit the passages of the book from which the practice theory is ostensibly culled and suggest an alternative. Finally, in section four, I consider some of the methodological implications of Hart’s style of argument and what it says about the importance or not of conceptual analysis in legal philosophy.In this essay I consider Kenneth Einar Himma’s argument, made most forcefully and fully in Coercion and the Nature of Law (Oxford University Press, 2020), that law is necessarily coercive. While casting doubt on Himma’s framing of the issues as well as on his specific claims in support of that conclusion, I suggest some alternate avenues for arguing that law is a coercive institution.
Journal Article (7)
Internet Publication (7)
Case Note (1)
Legal Philosophy, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law