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School of Law

Dr Caroline Morris, BA, LLB (Hons) (Well); LLM (Calif); PhD (Lond) Barrister and Solicitor (NZ)


Reader in Public Law

Telephone: +44 (0)207 882 5915
Room Number: Mile End


Caroline Morris joined Queen Mary, University of London, as a lecturer in public law in 2010. Previously she was a visiting lecturer and tutor in public law at King’s College London (2009-2010) and a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2001-2009 (lecturer 2001-2005)). Before commencing her academic career, Caroline was the judicial assistant to Lord Woolf, MR at the Court of Appeal and then a legal advisor at the New Zealand Ministry of Justice.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • LAW4001 Public Law 


Caroline's research focuses on democracy – both the representative and direct forms. She is an acknowledged expert on citizens’ initiatives, and is a member of the International Advisory Board of IRI-Asia. She also maintains an interest the experiences of women within the legal system, particularly in the areas of reproductive rights and legal education.

Caroline founded and co-directs the Centre for Small States, a new initiative dedicated to research and analysis of the legal issues facing the world's small states.  More information about the Centre for Small States and its activities can be found at




  • Small State Referendums (Routledge, Abingdon, Oxford, 2024) 84pp ISBN 978-1032741956
  • (Ed) Making and Changing Law in Small Jurisdictions Vol 11 (Springer Publishing, Berlin, 2024) 200pp ISBN 978-3031469428
  • Small States in a Legal World (Springer Publishing, Berlin, 2017) (with Petra Butler) 264pp ISBN 978-3-319-39365-0
  • Parliamentary Elections Representation and the Law (Hart, Oxford, 2012) 196pp ISBN 978-1849461474
  • Reconstituting the Constitution (Springer Publishing, New York, 2011) (Ed with Petra Butler and Jonathan Boston) 581pp ISBN 978-3642215711
  • Getting a PhD in Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2011) (with Cian Murphy) 158pp ISBN 978-1841133065

Chapters in books

  • “Navigating Law-making and Law Reform in Small Jurisdictions” in C Morris (ed) Making and Changing Law in Small Jurisdictions (Springer Publishing, Berlin, 2024) 1-7
  • "The Importance of Being Small” in P. Schoukens et al. (eds) Out of the Box (Owl Press, Ghent, 2022) pp. 389-395
  • Beyond Westminster: Principles, Process and Possibilities” in Venous Mamari (ed) The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Bermuda Constitution: Reflections on its Past and Future (Centre for Justice, Hamilton, Bermuda, 2018) pp 61-79.
  • Australasia” in Matt Qvortrup (ed) Referendums Around the World (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2018) (revised paperback edition, with Matt Qvortrup and Masahiro Kibori) pp 237-262
  • "Referendums in Oceania" in Matt Qvortrup (ed) Referendums Around the World (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2014) 218-245 and appendix 281-296
  • "New Zealand's Electoral Reform Process" [PDF] in Robert Blackburn (ed) Case Studies in Constitution Building (Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, Houses of Parliament, 2014) 77-83
  • "Misbehaving Members of Parliament" in Caroline Morris, Petra Butler and Jonathan Boston (eds) Reconstituting the Constitution (Springer Publishing, New York, 2011) 243-266
  • "Prospects for Direct Democracy in New Zealand" in Jau-Yuan Hwang (ed) Direct Democracy in Asia (Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Taipei, 2006) 391-401
  • "Remember the Ladies: a feminist perspective on Bills of Rights" in David Carter and Matthew Palmer (eds) Roles and Perspectives in the Law (Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2002) 27-42

Refereed articles

  • “Something old, something new: personation, photographic voter ID and the Electoral Act 2022” [2024] Spring Public Law 243-269 (with Stuart Wilks-Heeg)
  • "The Constitutional Status of Sark" (2023) 6(2) Small States and Territories 121-134.
  • Antidefection Laws in Three Small South Pacific Parliaments: A Cautionary Tale” (2022) 20(3) I.CON: International Journal of Constitutional Law 1-28 
  • "Dr Ivy Williams: Inside yet outside" (2020) Women's History Review (ahead of print version online)
  • "Introducing Challenging Women" (2020) Women's History Review (ahead of print version online)
  • ‘Reports of my Death have been Greatly Exaggerated’: The Continuing Role and Relevance of Election Petitions in Challenging Election Results in the UK” (2018) 19(4) Election Law Journal 1-16 (with Stuart Wilks-Heeg).
  • Party-hopping deja-vu: changing politics, changing law in New Zealand 1999-2018” (2018) August Public Law Review 1-18
  • Attempting constitutional reform in the island microjurisdiction of Alderney” (2018) 47(2) Common Law World Review 105-135
  • "From 'Arms, Malice and Menacing' to the Courts: Disputed Elections and the reform of the election petitions system" (2012) 32(2) Legal Studies 226-254
  • "To be or not to be (on TV): the SNP's challenge to the BBC" (2011) 22 (1) King's Law Journal 119-128
  • "Conceptualising Candidate Selection in the Courts: where to after Watt v Ahsan?" [2008] Autumn Public Law 415-429
  • "Evans v United Kingdom: Paradigms of Parenting" (2007) 70(6) Modern Law Review 992-1002
  • "A Dunne Deal? Politicians, the Media, and the Courts" (2005) 57(2) Political Science 55-64
  • "'A Mean Hard Place'? Law Students Tell it As it is" (2005) 36(2) Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 197-228
  • "'All Is Changed, Changed Utterly?' — Or, The Causes And Consequences Of New Zealand's Adoption Of MMP" (2004) 32(3) Federal Law Review 451- 478 (with Andrew Geddis)
  • "Regulations Review in the New Zealand Parliament" (2004) 4 Macquarie Law Journal 7-31 (with Ryan Malone)
  • "Improving our democracy or a fraud on the community? A closer look at New Zealand's Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993" (2004) 25(2) Statute Law Review 116-135
  • "On Becoming (and Remaining) a Member of Parliament" [2004] Spring Public Law 11-21
  • "Drugs, the Law, and Technology: Posing Some Problems in the Workplace" (2002) 20(1) NZ Universities Law Review 1-39
  • "Remember the Ladies: a feminist perspective on Bills of Rights" (2002) 33 & 34 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 451-466
  • "Technology and the Legal Discourse of Fetal Autonomy" (1998) 8 UCLA Women's Law Journal 47-97
  • "An Investigation into Gender Bias in the Employment Institutions" (1996) 21 NZ Journal of Industrial Relations 67-90
  • "The Governor-General, the reserve powers, Parliament and MMP: a new era" (1995) 25 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 345-372

Other publications

  • “The legal issues facing the world’s small states” (2021) 102(1) The Parliamentarian 52-53
  • “100 Years of Women in Law: Ivy Williams” (2019) Inner Temple Yearbook 16-17
  • “Natural Justice and Political Parties” (2008) November NZ Law Journal 399-400
  • “Major, Minor, and Third Parties in the 2005 election”(2005) November NZ Law Journal 377-379 (with Andrew Geddis)
  • Regulations Review Committee Digest(1ed, NZ Centre for Public Law, Wellington, 2004) (Consultant Editor)
  • “Developments in foetal status law” (2004) March NZ Law Journal 82-83
  • “Election 2002 – legal issues” (2002) SeptemberNZ Law Journal 332-334 (with Andrew Geddis) 
  • “Citizens’ Referenda: time for review?” (2002) March NZ Law Journal 44-46

Commissioned reports

  • Report to the States of Jersey "How might the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey respond to the formation of political parties?" (Oct 2021) pp 1-72
  • “The introduction of MMP in New Zealand” (Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies, King’s College London, April 2013) 
  • “Electoral legislation, principles and practice: a comparative analysis” (Electoral Commission, London, May 2012) 1-23
  • “Lessons in Direct Democracy from New Zealand” (Centre for Policy Studies, London, August 2007) 1-8 


Dr Morris welcomes approaches from students interested in electoral law (not including political financing laws), Westminster constitutional law, the law of small states and jurisdictions (including the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies), and the history of early women lawyers.

Current students

  • Angelique Pouponneau "An Enabling Legal Framework to Support Investments and Funding for a Sustainable Ocean Economy in Small Island Developing States" (joint supervision with the University of Malta)

Completed PhDs

  • Yvoni Komodromou [2019 Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Law Department] "Reviewing medical treatment decisions for people over the age of 65 in England and the US: Looking through a lens of justice"
  • Dara Modeste [2017 Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Law Department]"International Treaties and Commonwealth Caribbean States"

Public Engagement

  • Since 2012, Caroline Morris has been a member of the Advisory Group working with the Law Commission on its electoral reform project.
  • Caroline Morris was the legal advisor to the Alderney Governance Review from 2016-2017.

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