Newcastle Law School

Staff Profile

Dr Tom Bennett

Lecturer in Law

Background

Tom joined Newcastle Law School in February 2014. His principal field of research concerns the manner in which judges elaborate the common law (particularly in tort), and the relationship between common law development, legal practice and imagination. His work has, in recent years, focused on the right to privacy across the common law world. As well as the law relating to privacy, Tom also has a broad doctrinal interest in defamation and reputation management, and a general interest in domestic and European human rights law, the overlap between human rights and tort law, and in particular the courts' adjudicative method in cases involving the human rights of children.

Tom holds degrees from Newcastle University (LL.B (Hons)) and City University (LL.M (Distinction)). He was called to the Bar in 2009 (Inner Temple), following which he elected to pursue an academic career. He was awarded a Ph.D by Durham University in March 2018, for his thesis: Imagining Privacy in the Common Law.

Tom is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research

Tom's principal field of research concerns the manner in which judges elaborate the common law (particularly in tort), and the relationship between common law development, legal practice and imagination. His work has, in recent years, focused on the right to privacy across the common law world. As well as the law relating to privacy, Tom also has a broad doctrinal interest in defamation and reputation management, and a general interest in domestic and European human rights law, the overlap between human rights and tort law, and in particular the courts' adjudicative method in cases involving the human rights of children.

He was awarded a Ph.D by Durham University in March 2018 for his thesis: Imagining Privacy in the Common Law. In that thesis, Tom argues that the gap in protection against physical intrusions into privacy ("intrusion into seclusion") is the result of both formal and semantic "barriers" that courts perceive as preventing the recognition of a discrete intrusion tort. He argues that these barriers are illusory, but nevertheless bulk large in the minds of the judiciary and legal practitioners in the field, giving them considerable practical force. If these barriers are to be overcome, it will be necessary to recalibrate the manner in which lawyers and judges approach the task of considering common law development, and to adopt a "more imaginative jurisprudence" that pays attention to the broader context within which both the formal and semantic issues that are relevant to the law sit.

Tom's is currently conducting research into the relevance of imagination to the development of the common law on an interdisciplinary basis, and would welcome contact from those with an academic interest in imagination (from any discipline) who might be interested in opportunities for collaboration. 

Teaching

Tom is on research leave during the second semester of the 2017-18 academic year. He is not teaching any classes during that time.

Publications