Professor Trevor Buck

Job: Emeritus Professor of Socio-Legal Studies

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester De Montfort Law School

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7176




Personal profile

I retired from full-time work at De Montfort University on 1st September 2016 and was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor from that date.

I am still involved in some academic and professional activities, in particular:

External examinership of PhD theses;

REF output assessment work for Law;

Some writing projects in my fields of interests;

Reviewing books, articles and research grant applications in my fields of interest

Over the course of my career I have pursued three related research fields: administrative justice; international child law and social security law.  

My work on administrative justice has received external recognition.  I have been invited to undertake research work on several occasions for the Ministry of Justice  (and its predecessors Departments) and have conducted research projects with the assistance of external funding from the ESRC, the Nuffield Foundation, National Audit and other government departments in relation to mediation, judicial review, tribunals and ombudsmen.  I have held External Examinerships at various Universities in Public Law and other LLB modules. I currently serve as External Examiner for the Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

An ESRC-funded project that examined Ombudsmen in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand resulted in a number of publications and invitations to provide keynote presentations. The key ouput, a monograph, co-authored with two colleagues The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice, has received many positive reviews in a number of scholarly journals and continues to be cited by parliamentary Select Committees and the Law Commission.

I have contributed an ‘expert commentary’ on Public Inquiries in chapter x of Elliot M and Thomas R (eds) (forthcoming 2017) Public Law, 3rd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press.  I also delivered a public lecture in the Professorial Law Lecture series at De Montfort University on 9 February 2017.

My work on international child law is underpinned by my textbook International Child Law (3rd ed., 2014) which has been used for specialist undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK and internationally and appears in the bibliography of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. I have also published some journal articles in the area of international children's rights.  One of my previous doctoral students, Dr Michael Wabwile, a Kenyan academic, won a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral work on international child law hosted at DMU (October to December 2012). I completed a research report that evaluates the Long-term effects of mediation in international parental child abduction cases in collaboration with Reunite, a Leicester-based charity.  More recently I was commissioned to write an article on ‘Children’s Rights’ for the International Law section of Oxford Bibliographies, published by Oxford University Press in March 2017. I have contributed to the Children’s Rights Judgments project and have authored a revised judgment of the International Criminal Court’s Lubanga judgment in Hollingsworth K, Stalford H & Gilmore S (eds) (forthcoming 2017) Rewriting Children’s Rights Judgments: from academic vision to new practice, Oxford: Hart Publishing.

 My work on social security law. I was also seconded from my previous post at the University of Leicester for three years (1993-96) to serve as the national legal adviser to the Social Fund Commissioner and Social Fund Inspectors of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  I have been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Social Security Law for many years. My book, The Social Fund: Law & Practice (3rd edition, 2009) was the key legal reference work on the social fund in the UK for both Department for Work and Pensions officials and welfare advice advocates prior to the abolition of the discretionary Social Fund in April 2013.   I led a Nuffield Foundation funded research project that examined the work of the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners (now ‘Upper Tribunal Judges’), a project that involved interviewing all Commissioners and resulted in a number of publications including a monograph (Making Social Security Law, 2005), co-authored with Professors Roy Sainsbury (SPRU, York) and David Bonner (Law, Leicester).  

Publications and outputs 

Click here to see a full listing of Trevor Buck's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

BUCK T, (2014) International Child Law, Third edition, (with Gillespie A, chapter 7), London & New York: Routledge.  478pp + xxx. ISBN: 978-0-415-82591-7 (hbk); ISBN: 978-0-415-82592-4 (pbk); 978-0-203-53813-5 (ebk).

BUCK, T. and Wabwile, M. (2013) ‘The Potential and Promise of Communications Procedures under the Third Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child’, 2 (2) International Human Rights Law Review, pp. 205–239.

BUCK T, (2012) An Evaluation of the Long-term Effectiveness of Mediation in Cases of International Parental Child Abduction (104 pp), Leicester: Reunite.  Also available on Nuffield foundation website.

Review: ‘It does work! – Research on the Long Term Effectiveness of Mediation’ by Sabine WalshSabine Walsh Mediation, 6 December 2012.

BUCK T, Kirkham R and Thompson B, (2011) ‘Time for a “Leggatt-style” review of the ombudsman system?’ Public Law Spr: 1, 20-29. ISSN  0033-3565.

BUCK T, Kirkham R and Thompson B, (2011) The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice, Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-7556-3. 

Book reviews:

The Ombudsman: newsletter of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association, (2011) p. 6.

Forum Strafvollzug (German Prison Law Journal) (2011).

Giddings P. (2011) 30(4) Civil Justice Quarterly 465-6.

Tinker J (2011) LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog

Cane, P (2011) 70(3) Australian Journal of Public Administration 332-34.

Gill, C. (2011) 21(1) Social & Legal Studies 135-138.

Carl, S (2012) 75(2) Modern Law Review 299–300.

O’Brien, N (2012) 90(2) Public Administration 561-62.

Hay C, McKenna K and BUCK T (2010) Evaluation of Early Neutral Evaluation Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, Ministry of Justice Research Series 2/10, January 2010 (London: Ministry of Justice). Full report (104pp) and summary report (10pp), ISBN 978 1 84099 349 3.

             Book review: (2010) Journal of Social Security Law 17(2), pp 132-34.

BUCK T, Bonner D and Sainsbury R (2005) Making Social Security Law: the role and work of the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners, Aldershot: Ashgate. 249 pp + xi. ISBN 0754643816

      Book review: (2006) Journal of Social Security Law pp. 228-29.

Research interests/expertise

1.     Administrative Justice, in particular tribunals, ombudsmen, proportionate dispute resolution and theories of administrative justice

2.     International Child Law, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and armed conflict, child labour and children’s ombudsmen

3.     Social Security Law, in particular the Social Fund (UK) – I authored the nationally recognised authoritative work on social fund law and practice. Note: the discretionary social fund was abolished in the UK (other than Northern Ireland) in April 2013.

Areas of teaching

International Child Law, Public Law, Social Welfare Law


LLM (Hons)

LLM (by research)

Courses taught


LLBP1003  Administrative Justice

LLBP3024 International Child Law


LLMP5301 International Child Law  

Membership of external committees

REF 2014 Law sub-panel (C 20) Member 2011-2014

National Customer Representative Liaison Forum, Appeals Service/Office of the Social Security Commissioners 2001–2007 Member

Child Support Appeal Tribunal, Midlands Region 1994 – 1999 Member

Social Security Appeals Tribunals, Midlands Region 1990 – 1999 Member 

Membership of professional associations and societies

1993 – present  Member, Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA).

1999 – 2002  Honorary Secretary to the Executive Committee, SLSA.

1989 – present  Member, Society of Public Teachers of Law/Society of Legal Scholars. 

Professional licences and certificates

1996 Diploma in Legal Practice, De Montfort University, Leicester.

Forthcoming events

REF: Feedback meeting for representatives from all Law Schools – Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London (4 March 2015). Invited qua REF 2014 Law sub-panel member.

Children's Rights Judgments Project: Workshop 3 (June 26th 2015, De Montfort University). How to draft a judgment and commentary. This workshop will focus on stylistic and skills-based questions around judgment-writing. It will be convened by two members of the advisory board: district judge and former Professor of Law (Sonia Harris-Short); and a highly experienced former High Court and occasional Court of Appeal Judge who has adjudicated on some of the most prominent child-related cases (Sir Mark Hedley). This workshop will also set out the format and approach to the associated commentaries.

Conference attendance

Symposium: 25th Anniversary of the UK Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – Chakrabarti Room, John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University (21 January 2015).

Participant in Child Judgements Research Project: workshop no 1 – Newcastle University - Clore Room, Great North Museum, Newcastle NE2 4PT. (16 January 2015).

Invited (as expert group member) to the UK Administrative Justice Institute: launch, The Nuffield Foundation, 28 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JS (10 December 2014).

Invited to research report launch/roundtable, ‘The use of informal resolution approaches by ombudsmen in         the UK and Ireland: A        mapping study’, by Margaret Doyle, Varda Bondy and Carolyn Hirst. Nuffield Foundation, London, 2 October 2014.

Conference paper. 'Re-equipping the Committee on the Rights of the Child: the potential and promise of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure’ SLS annual conference, Edinburgh 5-6 September 2013.

Consultancy work

  • I am currently undertaking some consultancy work as an external assessor for a number of UK University Law Schools in connection with my experience as a REF 2014 Law sub-panel member (2011-2014).
  • Invited lecture for overseas judges/officials: ‘The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: a review of the substantive guarantees’, 26 March and 11 June 2012.  Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham.

Current research students

1. First supervisor: Elizabeth Faulkner – ‘Children and human trafficking’.  DMU scholarship student. October 2012 - present.


Externally funded research grants information

An Evaluation of the Long-term Effectiveness of Mediation in Cases of International Parental Child Abduction’, in collaboration with Reunite (Leicester), funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Public Services Ombudsmen and Administrative Justice: Models, Roles, Methods and Relationships

ESRC award RES-000-22-2133.

Start date: 01/04/2007; End Date: 30/06/08

Co-investigator with Dr Richard Kirkham (CI) (University of Sheffield) and Brian Thompson (PI) (University of Liverpool).

Internally funded research project information


Professional esteem indicators


REF 2014 Law sub-panel member

1994 – present

Editorial Advisory Board Journal of Social Security Law.

1990 – 1996 Section Editor Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

(1990 – 1993) Ombudsman Decisions; (1993 – 1996) Social fund inspectors decisions

Case studies


Prof Trevor Buck

Search Who's Who

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.