Adam Tomkins

Adam Tomkins (born 28 June 1969) is an academic and Scottish Conservative Party politician. He is the John Millar Professor of Public Law at the University of Glasgow School of Law and was elected a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.[1] He is shadow cabinet secretary for communities, social security, the constitution and equalities.[2] Until 2015 Tomkins was constitutional advisor to the House of Lords Constitution Committee. From 2015 he has acted as constitutional advisor to the Scotland Office and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell.

Adam Tomkins

Tomkins in 2016
Member of Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Personal details
Born (1969-06-28) 28 June 1969 (age 50)
Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Political partyScottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Lauren Apfel
Alma materUniversity of East Anglia
London School of Economics
ProfessionLegal scholar


Tomkins was educated at Gillingham School, the University of East Anglia (LL.B., 1990) and the London School of Economics (LL.M., 1991).[3] He taught at the School of Law of King's College London between 1991 and 2000 and became a fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford in 2000, before being elected to the John Millar Chair of Law at Glasgow in 2003.[3][4] His research interests lie in constitutional theory and history, British, EU and comparative constitutional law.[4]

Tomkins has published seven books[3] in the areas of constitutional, administrative and European Union law, including two, Public Law (2003) and British Government and the Constitution (2007, with Colin Turpin), which are amongst the most widely used by law students in the United Kingdom.[5]

Tomkins has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Toronto, Queensland and New South Wales and the Australian National University, and has lectured throughout the world.[5] In April 2009, Tomkins became associated with Ampersand, a stable at the Faculty of Advocates, as part of its Ampersand Academics link between practitioners and academics. Professor Douglas Brodie, former head of the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh, has also joined this project. In 2009 he was appointed legal adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.[6]


During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum Tomkins was a leading unionist campaigner.[7]

After the referendum Tomkins was one of two Scottish Conservative representatives appointed to the Smith Commission. He has also been appointed as unpaid adviser to Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell during the passage of the Scotland Bill through parliament.[8]

In August 2015, Tomkins announced his intention to stand as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish Conservatives in the 2016 elections. In a blog explaining his decision, he was highly critical of the Scottish National Party's actions in government at Holyrood, and praised many policies of the Conservative government at Westminster.[9] He was elected a list member of the Scottish Parliament for the Glasgow Region in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election. He sits on the Finance Committee and the Social Security Committee in the Scottish Parliament.[10]


From British Library catalogue (Accessed October 2015).

  • Understanding human rights. (1996, London: Mansell edited by Conor Gearty and Adam Tomkins)
  • The constitution after Scott: government unwrapped (1998)
  • Devolution and the British constitution (1998)
  • Sceptical essays on human right (2001: edited by Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing, and Adam Tomkins)
  • Public Law (2003)
  • Our Republican constitution (2005)
  • How We Should Rule Ourselves (2005: Alasdair Gray, Adam Tomkins)
  • The executive and public law : power and accountability in comparative perspective (2006: edited by Paul Craig and Adam Tomkins)
  • European Union public law : text and materials (2007: Damian Chalmers, Adam Tomkins)
  • British government and the constitution: text and materials (2011: Colin Turpin, Adam Tomkins)
  • The legal protection of human rights : sceptical essays (2011: edited by Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing and Adam Tomkins)


  1. "Nicola Sturgeon celebrates third term as Tories head for second place". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. "Scottish Conservative appointments for new parliamentary term". Scottish Conservative Party. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  3. "oxford INTELLECT: Adam Tomkins". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  4. "University of Glasgow :: School of Law :: Adam Tomkins". University of Glasgow School of Law. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  5. "Ampersand Academics - Professor Adam Tomkins". Ampersand Advocates. Retrieved 30 October 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. "Professor Adam Tomkins FRSE, MSP - The Royal Society of Edinburgh". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  7. Duffy, Judith. "'I am being forced to choose ... would I want to stay in an independent Scotland as a No voter?'". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  8. "Constitutional expert appointed as Mundell adviser". Scottish Legal News. ScottishLegal.Com. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  9. Tomkins, Prof Adam (28 August 2015). "I am seeking election to the Scottish Parliament: here's why".
  10. "Adam Tomkins MSP". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 4 July 2016.