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Luke Mason

Senior Lecturer - Law

About Research

Luke Mason is a lawyer and legal philosopher who has taught law, philosophy and social policy in numerous universities in the UK and abroad. He has won several prizes for teaching, including in 2014 the renowned national award ‘Law Teacher of the Year’. He takes an active role in the development of strategies and policy for legal education and training at University and national level, and is a member of the national executive committee of the Association of Law Teachers. Luke’s research interests include a focus on legal education and how legal reasoning can be taught and developed.

Luke’s main teaching areas include jurisprudence and legal theory, legal skills, employment law and the law of the European Union. He has also taught more generally in the fields of constitutional law, private law, social policy and moral and political philosophy. At St Mary’s Luke currently teaches Professional Legal Skills and Legal Ethics, and European Union Law.

Prior to taking up his position at St Mary’s, Luke was Director of Learning and Teaching at the School of Law, University of Surrey, where he oversaw changes to the structure of the law programmes to give them greater coherence and to raise attainment levels among students. In 2016 Luke was awarded in the Surrey FASS award for Learning and Teaching. At Surrey he was also Chair of the Board of Studies and the Board of Examiners. He has also taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level at numerous Universities in London and the South of England, as well as in various Universities in Europe, including most recently at the University of Bordeaux where he was Professor of Comparative Labour Law in 2015.

Luke has held numerous roles as external examiner and moderator at higher education and professional accrediting institutions, and has played a part in the validation and accreditation of numerous programmes, departments and institutions. He has also supervised LLM and doctoral research.

In addition to his teaching in Universities, Luke has also provided training and consultancy services to governments, including most recently on European Social Policy and the Social Insurance system to a delegation from the Chinese government, and on Labour Migration to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also regularly takes part in public and media events, most recently regarding Brexit and its legal, social and cultural significance, upon which he has spoken regularly. In the past he has also worked as an employment lawyer and as a government policy advisor. Outside of law, Luke is also a qualified football coach, and a published author of short fiction, poetry and journalism.


Luke is a philosopher, jurist and social theorist whose research covers a broad range of fields relating to legal theory, social policy and legal education.

Luke’s primary doctrinal interest lies in labour law and social policy, in particular the relationship between constitutional theory and collective and individual labour law. Luke is currently undertaking research on the European Social Constitution, and how constitutional ideas can help us better +understand the profound restructuring impact which European economic and legal integration has had on employment law and social policy, of particular significance given the current uncertainty surrounding ‘Brexit’.

Another focus of Luke’s research in broader questions of legal theory, in particular how ideas from literature and theoretical physics might shed light on the nature of law and legal reasoning. In particular, Luke’s work focuses on how literature and popular culture can provide a standpoint from outside the law from which to better understand some of its more deep-lying aspects. Luke’s work also looks at how models from theoretical physics, such as quantum mechanics, chaos theory and fractals can shed light on certain phenomena within legal reasoning which doctrinal study and traditional analytical jurisprudence do not reveal.

Luke’s research also focuses on legal education, in particular the empirical and theoretical examination of the teaching and acquisition of legal knowledge. In particular he is interested in the use of experimental methods to map and question people’s perceptions of the processes involved in legal reasoning and where frailties emerge in this practice.


Selected list of recent or forthcoming publications and conference proceedings:

  • ‘The intractably unknowable nature of law: Kadi, Kafka and the law’s competing claims to authority’ in M Avbelj et al (eds) Kadi on Trial: A multifaceted analysis of the Kadi judgment (Routledge, 2014)
  • ‘Labour law, the Industrial Constitution and the EU’s accession to the ECHR’ in K Dzehtsiarou et al (eds), Human Rights Law in Europe: The influence, overlaps and contradictions of the EU and the ECHR (Routledge, 2014)
  • ‘The Hollow Legal Shell of European Race Discrimination Policy: The EC Race Directive’ (2011) 53 American Behavioral Scientist 1731–1748
  • ‘Les contrats à zéro heure et l’exception anglaise’, Lettre du Comptrasec (2015)
  • ‘Keeping the writing on the wall: rethinking graffiti as heritage’ (with M Orsini), in Change Over Time (forthcoming)
  • ‘Brexit et les Quatre Crises Du Droit Du Travail’/’Brexit and the Four Crises of Labour Law’ (2017) in Revue du Droit Comparé du Travail/Review of Comparative Labour Law (Forthcoming)
  • ‘Legal mythology and legal experience in popular fiction: A comparative literary jurisprudence of common and civil law’ (2017) in The Sacred and the Layman: Popular Literatures of Law (Contextes 2017)
  • ‘Labour rights’ Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (OUP 2017)
  • Frailty and Resilience in Legal Education (with Ian Kinchin) in Kinchin and Winstone (eds), Exploring Pedagogic Frailty and Resilience: Case Studies of Academic Narrative (Sense, 2017)
  • Arbeitsrecht und Verfassung (Workshop Paper, Max Planck Institute for International and Comparative Private Law, Hamburg 2013)
  • Conceptually Mapping Legal Knowledge (Conference Paper, ALT conference, Portsmouth UK, 2017)
  • Thinking deeply about plagiarism and legal reasoning (Conference paper with A Bone, ALT conference, Newcastle UK, 2016) (currently collating full empirical data for publication)
  • Keynote speech: emancipatory legal education and the constructivist epistemology of legal thought (Conference Keynote and paper, ALT conference, Cardiff 2015: currently working paper)
  • De/Re-constructing legal reasoning through incorrect conclusions and reverse MCQs, (Conference Paper with A Bone, Cardiff, 2015, current working paper)
  • La philosophie du droit dans le droit du travail anglais (Conference Paper, University of Bordeaux, 2015)
  • Constitution, UE and CEDH (Conference Paper, Bordeaux, rencontres doctorales, 2015)
  • Les mutations contractuelles dans le droit du travail anglais (Conference Paper and Keynote, AFDT National Conference, Nancy, France, 2015)
  • Current working paper: Legal Fractals: What maths and chaos theory tells us about law and constitution (most recently presented at Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy, Dec 2016)
  • Current working paper: Anarchy as symbol in labour law judicial opinions (Submitted for consideration as conference proceeding)
  • Current working paper: Performance management and the other exclusion zones of the common law contract of employment
  • Current working paper: Towards a common law worker contract?