Robert Blackburn

Robert Blackburn, KC


  • Professor of Constitutional Law, Laws
  • Phone82516
  • 1511

Personal profile

Research interests

Research interests (short)

Political and Constutional Affairs

Biographical details

Robert Blackburn QC, PhD, LLD is a leading authority on British and comparative constitutional law. He has been Professor of Constitutional Law at King's since 1997, and was appointed honorary Queen's Counsel in 2016.

He is a graduate of London School of Economics and Leeds University, and holds degrees in the disciplines of Law, Political Science, and History. Before entering academic life, he practiced with a City law firm in the areas of property, medical and public law, and was a Visiting Tutor at Trinity and St John's Colleges, Cambridge.

He regularly acts as an adviser to government or professional bodies in the UK and abroad, most recently as Special Counsel to the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Commons in 2010-15, and consultant on Crown affairs for the Cabinet Office and Treasury Solicitor in 2014-15. He served as UK National Correspondent to the Council of Europe Directorate of Human Rights 1983-2008.

He has published fifteen books on political and constitutional affairs, among them The Electoral System in Britain, Parliament: Functions, Practice and Procedure, Fundamental Rights in Europe, King and Country and Constitutional Reform. He has written three titles for Halsbury's Laws of England, the definitive multi-volume work of reference for legal practitioners, on Constitutional and Administrative Law, Parliament, and Crown and Crown Proceedings.

He is currently preparing a monograph on Writing the British Constitution, incorporating his research and studies on constitutional codification and how a written UK constitution could work. His academic articles this year include "The Abdication of Edward VIII: Legal and Constitutional Perspectives", "The Idea of a British Bill of Rights", and "The Politics of Parliamentary Procedure at Westminster".

He currently lectures on Advanced Constitutional Law and the core public law module in the Politics, Philosophy and Law LLB degree. Earlier he has taught specialist LLM courses on Theory and Practice of Parliament, Administrative Law, and English Constitutional History.

He is a regular conference speaker on constitutional affairs, and recently has chaired an event at the European Court of Human Rights to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and delivered papers at the Universities of Athens, Brescia, Amiens, Santander and Bordeaux.

Professor Blackburn has extensive experience of senior managerial work across the College. In the School of Law he has served as Acting Dean, Deputy Dean, Chairman of the Board of Examiners and Director of Postgraduate Studies. He currently manages the College's partnership in London University's International (External Degree) Programme in Law.

Professor Blackburn's public impact research on in the field of constitutional law was selected as one of the Impact Case Studies for the School of Law's Research Excellence Framework submission in 2014, contributing to the School being ranked first out of all University law departments in the country for the quality of its research.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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