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Norman Doe

Norman Doe

Professor of Law

School of Law and Politics


LLM (Wales), MTh (Oxford), PhD (Cambridge), DCL (Lambeth), LLD (Cambridge), Barrister (Middle Temple).  I am the Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, which I set up at Cardiff Law School in 1998, and I was also Director of Research at the Law School (2011-2014).  I am from the Rhondda and studied law at University College Cardiff, for my doctorate at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and theology at St Michael`s Theological College, Llandaff and Mansfield College Oxford University.  I was an honorary member of the senior common room at Magdalen College, Oxford (1996-97), visiting fellow at Pusey House, Oxford (1997), visiting scholar at Bangor Law School (2007-8), visiting fellow at Trinity College Oxford (2011), visiting research scholar at Corpus Christi College Oxford (2015), and short term visiting fellow at Jesus College Oxford (2018).

In 1991, I set up the LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff Law School and I serve as the director of this programme, in 2002 I set up the LLB module Law and Religion, and in 2016, I had the honour of receiving a copy of: F. Cranmer, Mark Hill, Celia Kenny and Russell Sandberg (eds), The Confluence of Law and Religion: Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Work of Norman Doe (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

I am author of Fundamental Authority in Late Medieval English Law (Cambridge, 1990), The Legal Framework of the Church of England (Oxford, 1996), Canon  Law in the Anglican Communion (Oxford, 1998), The Law of the Church in Wales (Cardiff, 2002), An Anglican Covenant: Theological and Legal Considerations for a Global Debate (Canterbury Press, 2008), Law and Religion in Europe (Oxford, 2011), Christian Law: Contemporary Principles (Cambridge, 2013), The Legal Architecture of English Cathedrals (Routledge, 2017), and Comparative Religious Law: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (Cambridge, 2018).  With Mark Hill and Russell Sandberg, I am co-author of Religion and Law in the United Kingdom (Wolters Kluwer, 3rd ed., 2021).

I am editor of Essays in Canon Law (Cardiff, 1992), The Portrayal of Religion in Europe (Leuven, 2004), Christianity and Natural Law (Cambridge, 2017), A New History of the Church in Wales (Cambridge, 2020), and Church Laws and Ecumenism: A New Path for Christian Unity (Routledge, 2020). I am co-editor, with Mark Hill and Robert Ombres OP, of English Canon Law (Cardiff, 1998), with Richard Puza, Religion and Law in Dialogue (Leuven, 2006), with James Conn and Joseph Fox, Initiation, Membership and Authority in Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Law (Rome, 2005), with Matti Kotiranta, Religion and Criminal Law (Leuven, 2013) with Russell Sandberg, Law and Religion: New Horizons (Peeters, Leuven, 2010), Law and Religion (Routledge, 2017) and Law and History (Routledge, 2017), and with Mark Hill, R.H. Helmholz and J., Witte, Christianity and Criminal Law (Routledge, 2020). I am also editor of the books Church Laws and Ecumenism: A New Path for Christian Unity (Routledge, 2021) and A New History of the Church in Wales: Governance and Ministry, Theology and Society (Cambidge University Press, 2021).

I am on the editorial committees of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal and was appointed in 2013 as the Editor of the newly established Routledge Research Series in Law and Religion, the first series of its type in the UK, and in 2016 as the editor-in-chief of the new series Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion (published by Brill-Nijhoff, Netherlands).

I was a member of the Legal Advisory Commission of the Church of England, and deputy chancellor, Diocese of Manchester.  A member of the European Consortium for Church and State Research (President in 2010), and a founding member of the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers (established in 1999), I was a consultant on canon law to the Primates of the Anglican Communion and member of the Lambeth Commission (2003-2004, Windsor Report (2004)).  I also served on the Anglican Communion Covenant Design Group (and suggested and drafted the original Anglican Covenant appended to the Windsor Report (2004)), and was consultant to the Anglican Communion Network of Legal Advisers and prepared candidate principles for inclusion in its The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion (Anglican Communion Office, 2008).  Since 1999 I have been an associate professor at the University of Paris, and 2013-16 visiting professor at KU Leuven, and was docente invitato Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum), Rome, in 2009.  With Centre colleagues, I established the Interfaith Legal Advisers Network (2007) and the Law and Religion Scholars Network (2008).

I made five presentations on canon law and covenant at the Lambeth Conference 2008. In 2012 I was appointed as Chancellor of the Diocese of Bangor - in this capacity I function as president of the Diocesan Consistory Court.  My book Law and Religion in Europe was included in the top 20 publications by the International Consortium of Law and Religion Scholars (ICLARS). In 2013 I was the Oxford University Court Sermon Preacher.  My book Christian Law has been the focus of study by a panel of experts at meetings in Rome 2013-2016 involving participants from the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian and Baptist traditions seeking to use systems of church law and church order as an instrument of  global ecumenism on the basis that whilst doctrines may divide Christians, laws link them in common action.  I drafted the principles for consideration by the panel and for inclusion in its Statement of Principles of Christian Law (Rome, 2016).  As a result of a meeting at Geneva in 2017, a partnership has been set up between the panel and the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Statement is being fed into its work as well as being discussed at national ecumenical events around the world.  In the Research Handbook on Law and Religion, edited by Rex Adhar (Elgar, 2018), I was listed in the 'top ten' law and religion scholars worldwide - at number 10. In 2020 I was elected as a visiting fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, as a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2021 I was elected as an Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple, London.











  • Sandberg, R. and Doe, N. 2016. Textual and contextual legal history. In: Doe, N. and Sandberg, R. eds. Law and History., Vol. 1. Critical Concepts in Law Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 1-27.























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My principal research interests are Anglican canon law, comparative church law, law and religion, and the history of ecclesiastical law. I have authored nine books, co-authored one, and edited over twenty.    My book Canon Law in the Anglican Communion (Oxford, 1998) was the basis of the document The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion (2008), agreed by the Anglican Communion Legal Advisers Network and launched at the Lambeth Conference of 2008. My book Christian Law: Contemporary Principles (Cambridge, 2013) was the basis of a Statement of Principles of Christian Law (2016), issued by an ecumenical panel, and currently being fed into the work of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.  My current research is for a book on the history of English ecclesiastical law since the Reformation, a series of articles on the work of clergy jurists also since the Reformation which is published in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal. I am also involved in various netwroks of the Cardiff Centre for Law and Religion, including the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Cathoilic Canon Lawyers and the newly formed Church Law History Network.


I am the course director of the LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff School of Law and Politics.


I am a professor of law at the School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, where I also direct the LLM in Canon Law and the Centre for Law and Religion. At Cardiff I have served as Director of Research for the REF 2014. I have been a visiting fellow/schalar at several Oxford colleges, and since 1999 I have been a visiting professor at the University of Paris, teaching Anglican canon law on the doctoral Gratianus Programme.     Since 2012 I have been the Chancellor of the Diocese of Bangor, in the Church in Wales in which capacity I serve as judge of the diocesan consistory court. I was President of the European Consortium for Church and State Research in 2010.    I have also been a consultant in canon law to the Legal Advisers Network of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Lambeth Conference 2008, and in 2003-2004 on the Lambeth Commission which produced the Windsor Report in 2004.