Dr David Tomkins


Newcastle Law School

Career Summary


I am an Australian lawyer with degrees in commerce (accounting) and law, and postgraduate qualifications in law from the United Kingdom and Germany. I am admitted as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

My doctoral thesis is in the field of comparative constitutional law, focusing on the limits to judicial power (non-justiciability) in US federal and English public law.

Prior to undertaking postgraduate studies I worked in Sydney as a tipstaff and judge's associate to two judges in the Compensation Court and Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales – work which regularly brought me to Newcastle. I subsequently spent a number of years working for various research and public policy institutes in Germany, the United States and New Zealand. Before joining the faculty at the University of Newcastle I was an academic visitor and research assistant at the University of Auckland and a tutor at the University of Sydney.

Research Expertise
Constitutional law, Comparative constitutional law, Constitutional theory, Legal theory (Jurisprudence), Legal history, Administrative law

Teaching Expertise
I teach and am the course coordinator for Constitutional Law, Legal Theory, and Administrative Law.


  • PhD (Law), University of Oxford - UK
  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of Western Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Western Sydney
  • Lawyer, Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Master of Laws, Universitat Trier - Germany
  • Bachelor of Civil Law, University of Oxford - UK
  • Master of Philosophy, University of Oxford - UK


  • Administrative Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Constitutional Theory
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law
  • Legal History
  • Legal Theory
  • Public Law


  • German (Fluent)
  • French (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
180108 Constitutional Law 50
180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation 30
180103 Administrative Law 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
Newcastle Law School


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Lindsay KA, Tomkins D, 'The Judicial Scholar and the Scholarly Judge: Extra-Curial Writing and Intellectual Independence on the High Court', Judicial Independence in Australia: Contemporary Challenges, Future Directions, The Federation Press, Leichhardt NSW 168-182 (2016) [B1]
Co-authors Katherine Lindsay

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Lindsay KA, Tomkins D, 'Hail to the Chief! The Roles and Leadership of Australian Chief Justices as Evidenced in Extra-Curial Activity 1964-2017', UNSW Law Journal, 40 712-760 (2017) [C1]
Co-authors Katherine Lindsay

Dr David Tomkins


Newcastle Law School
Faculty of Business and Law

Contact Details

Email david.tomkins@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 8747
Mobile N/A
Fax (02) 4921 6931


Room X-545
Building NeW Space
Location City Campus