Mr Michael Fordham QC

College Lecturer in Administrative Law


Michael Fordham QC is a public law and human rights barrister who has been College Lecturer at Hertford College for more than 25 years. Mike was a product of the Tanner scheme who studied law at Hertford 1983-1987 (BA and BCL) then at the University of Virginia (LLM). He won three major Scholarships from Gray’s Inn and as a junior barrister became a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel and Counsel to the Burns Inquiry. His awards include Public Law Junior of the Year; Human Rights Lawyer of the Year; Human Rights and Public Law QC of the Year and the Bar Pro Bono Award. He has argued more than forty cases in the Supreme Court and is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn. His legal opinions have been relied on by the Constitutional Affairs Committee (legal aid reform; asylum and judicial review); the Work and Pensions Committee (health and safety enforcement policy); and the All-Party Working Group on Rendition (extraordinary rendition). He is author of a leading practitioner textbook and has written dozens of articles in legal journals, including a 2003 article which led to the Law Commission’s 2006-2009 working and consultation papers on monetary remedies against public authorities. Mike is a Fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and was lead author of Bingham Centre reports on immigration detention (2013) and judicial review reform (2014). He regularly acts for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is a frequent speaker at human rights conferences and has conducted training of senior judges overseas. He also sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court, a Recorder in the Crown Court and a Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber). Mike was an Oxford Hockey Blue and is now President of St Albans HC. He likes to walk canal towpaths.


  • Author, Judicial Review Handbook (6th edition 2012)
  • Co-Editor, Judicial Review (quarterly journal, since 1996)
  • Lead Author, Immigration Detention and the Rule of Law (Bingham Centre, 2013)
  • Lead Author, Streamlining Judicial Review (Bingham Centre, 2014)