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. 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 institutional and procedural law, specifically the functioning of the preliminary reference procedure. 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 draws 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 is the basis for a monograph to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2022.




  • Law of the European Union 1
  • Law of the European Union 2
  • Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Foundations of Law
  • Professional Legal Skills: Interviewing, Mediation and Advocacy



Further information

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


Butler, G. and Cotter, J., “Just Say No! Appeals Against Orders for a Preliminary Reference” (2020) 26(3) European Public Law 615

Cotter, J. and Dewhurst, E., “Lessons from Roman law: EU law in England and Wales after Brexit” (2019) 53(2) The Law Teacher 173

Cotter, J., “‘Keep Calm and Carry On’: EU Legal Developments in 2016” (2017) 55(S1) Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review of the European Union 88

Cotter, J., “When the Court can Reverse its Decision” (2014) 19 Bar Review 127

Cotter, J., “The German Federal Constitutional Court and Welfare Benefits for Asylum Seekers: Consequences for the Direct Provision and Dispersal Scheme in Ireland?” (2013) 31 Irish Law Times 6 (Part I) and 23 (Part II)

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