Michael Doherty

Principal Lecturer; Academic Lead on Student Experience

Lancashire Law School

Harris Building, HB203

+44 (0) 1772 89 3949


Full Profile

Michael leads the School's efforts on student experience, including teaching and learning. He has a longstanding interest in e-learning and in skills development, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Michael joined Lancashire Law School in 1993 and has been variously a lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer, course leader, and Masters Programmes leader. He was awarded the academic prize as the best graduating student of his law school year and won a scholarship to undertake a research degree on environmental protection law in Antarctica.

He has taught a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses focussing on public and environmental law, and was previously Course Leader for LLM Environmental Law and Programme Leader for LLM Programmes.

He is the author of a popular textbook, Public Law, which is in its second edition. He has researched and published on European environmental law and the important issue of privacy and press freedom. He has been a visiting professor to law schools in France, China and Mauritius, and is an experienced external examiner. He was elected to the Committee of the Association of Law Teachers, serving for seven years, during which time he was Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Association.

Michael is the creator of Open Law Map – the first jurisdiction-wide map of legal places anywhere in the world. This led on to law mapping educational activities that have been picked up in law schools in the UK, and to the award of the national Routledge – ALT Teaching Law with Technology Prize for 2015.

His latest projects are in the field of legal design, including working with a graphic designer to produce visual guide to student tenants’ rights. This project won the Stan Marsh Best Conference Poster Prize in April 2018.

He is an elected Board member of Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust where is the Legal and Policy Officer.


LLB (Wolverhampton) 1989

LLM (University of East Anglia) 1991

Law Society Finals 1992


Public Law, 2nd edn, Routledge, 2018.

‘Legal Visualisation Project – Tenants’ Rights’ Lancashire Law School Blog, June 2018

‘Should Making False Statements in a Referendum Campaign Be an Electoral Offence?’, UK Constitutional Law Association, July 2016 https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2016/07/04/michael-doherty-should-making-false-statements-in-a-referendum-campaign-be-an-electoral-offence/

‘The Application of Article 95(4-6) of the EC Treaty: Is The Emperor Still Unclothed?’ (2008) 7 Yearbook of European Environmental Law (ISBN-13: 978-0199202751)

‘Politicians as a Species of ‘Public Figure’ and the Right to Privacy (2007) 1(1) Humanitas Journal of European Studies 35-56

‘The Right to Tell One’s Own Story? Balancing privacy and expression claims' (2007) 13(5) Web Journal of Current Legal Issues (ISSN 1360-1326)

‘Challenging a Commission refusal to allow the introduction of more stringent national measures’, (2004) 6 Environmental Law Review 120-126 (ISSN 1461 4529)

‘Hard Cases and Environmental Principles: An aid to interpretation?’ (2002) 3 Yearbook of European Environmental Law 155-174 (ISBN 0-19-925462-1)

‘The Judicial Use of the Principles of European Environmental Law’, (2000) 2 Environmental Law Review 251- 263


Harris Award for Excellence in Research-Informed Teaching: on the development of reasoning skills for law students.

Centre for Employability Through the Humanities: on legal skills and employability.

External Activities

Michael is an active member of the Association of Law Teachers. He served on the ALT committee for seven years and was Chair of the Association in 2004.


Harris Award for Excellence in Research-Informed Teaching is funding his research into the development of reasoning skills for law students.

Centre for Employability Through the Humanities is funding research he is undertaking into employability.


In the area of public law, environmental law and legal skills.


Association of Law Teachers, former Chair and Committee Member

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


‘Let’s Play Master and Servant: The relative roles of skills and substance in legal education’, Association of Law Teachers Conference, Cambridge, 30 March 2010.

‘The Development of Legal Reasoning Skills: When is a skill not a skill?’, Academy of Legal Studies in Business Conference, Denver, Colorado, 6 August 2009.

‘Remembrance of ‘Skills I’ Past: Can we get students to apply their legal reasoning skills?’ Association of Law Teachers Conference, Amsterdam, 5 April 2009.

‘Critical Reasoning Skills: Any Place in a Crowded Curriculum?’, Association of Law Teachers Conference, Plymouth, 20 April 2007.

‘UK Media Law and the Protection of Privacy’, Department of Journalism, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, 24 November 2004.