John Cotter BCL, LLB (Hons) (NUI), BL (King's Inns), Barrister (unregistered) (Middle Temple), PhD (Dubl), FHEA joined Keele University as a Lecturer in Law in 2019, before being promoted to Senior Lecturer in Law in 2023. Prior to joining Keele University, John was a lecturer at the Department of International and European Law, Faculty of Law at Maastricht University, the Netherlands and a lecturer at Hasselt University, Belgium (2017-2019). Before that, he was a senior lecturer in law at the University of Wolverhampton. He holds BCL (Law and German) and LLB degrees from University College Cork, Ireland and a PhD in law from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is qualified as a barrister in Ireland and in England & Wales, and practised at the Irish bar for four years (2007-2011).

Research and scholarship

John’s research areas are European Union constitutional institutional law. He also has an interest in American legal realism, especially the work of Karl Llewellyn. His PhD thesis Extra-Legal Factors in the Article 267 TFEU Preliminary Reference Procedure drew upon the theories of Llewellyn to argue that there are a number of factors built into that procedure, which tend to promote legal certainty. This thesis was the basis for a monograph 'Legal Certainty in the Preliminary Reference Procedure' published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2022. John also conducts research on the EU's democracy, as well as the accountability of EU office-holders.



  • Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • European Union Law

Further information

John would welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD theses in the areas of European Union institutional and procedural law.


School of Law
Keele University
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Email: School of Law Office

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