Thomas is from Northern Ireland, and undertook his qualifying law degree and other legal qualifications at Queen's University Belfast. After receiving his Doctorate he went on to work as a Teaching Assistant in the Law School at Queen's, and also in the Planning department. He subsequently took up his Lectureship in the Law School at Stirling University in late 2016. He has particular expertise in Environmental Law and Public Law.
Thomas has been involved in an advisory capacity with a broad range of environmental and other actors, including NGOs, political representatives in the UK's devolved governments, and others. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Member of the Society of Legal Scholars, and an Associate Member of the Irish Association of Law Teachers, amongst other organisations. He is also a co-founder and co-editor of Freckle, an environmentally-focused magazine that celebrates people and place in Northern Ireland and beyond.
At the beginning of September 2017, Thomas was appointed to the Law Society of Scotland's Education and Training (Standard Setting) Sub-Committee, and its Education and Training (Policy) Committee. In January 2018 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).
Thomas has considerable experience as an educator in a range of legal areas, and has particular experience in the sphere of environmental law and constitutional law.
PhD, Queen's University Belfast, July 2015
LLM in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, Distinction, Queen's University Belfast, 2010-2011
Mlegsci (Qualifying Law Degree), Distinction, Queen's University Belfast, 2008-2010
Thomas also holds an MA in Irish Literature, and a BA in English and Music. His MA research focused on the work of Victorian barrister and poet Sir Samuel Ferguson, and included cataloguing important historical documents in the Ferguson manuscript collection at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. This stream of Thomas's education intersects with the substantial involvement he has had in the Arts sector, and he has written widely in Arts areas, including a book on aesthetics and morality commissioned by Lapwing Press in 2009, published in 2011.
Thomas is particularly interested in environmental law, constitutional law, and human rights, and he has a subsidiary interest in property law; these interests are reflected in his research outputs and contributions. He is also particularly interested in somewhat obscure or frequently neglected spheres of law, and he occasionally likes to explore these sorts of areas in his work. To date these interests have included in particular: burial law, laws relating to the ‘dead body'/corpse as broadly construed, national monuments law, cultural heritage.
Academic Articles, & Selected Publications related to Thomas's Academic Legal Research
Muinzer, Thomas L., ‘An Evaluation of the Implications of EU Climate and Energy Governance for the UK in light of Brexit' 23(2) European Journal of Current Legal Issues (2017) http://webjcli.org/article/view/564/752
--. (lead author), with Geraint Ellis, 'Subnational Governance for the Low Carbon Energy Transition: Mapping the UK's "Energy Constitution"' Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy (2017), 1-22 DOI: 10.1177/2399654416687999
--. ‘Incendiary Developments: Northern Ireland's Renewable Heat Incentive, and the Collapse of the Devolved Government', UKELA E-Law (99) March/April 2017: 18-21.
--. "The Law and the Dead (Review)" Medical Law Review (2017) doi:10.1093/medlaw.fwx003.
--. "'Fishing for Answers': An Anglers' Society Challenges the Scope of 'Environmental Damage'" Environmental Law Review (2016) 18(4): 301-308.
--. ‘"Cultural Vandalism akin to Ripping a Knife through a Rembrandt"? A Critical Assessment of the Protections afforded to Irish Cultural Rights under Ireland's Developing Heritage Laws' Irish Journal of Legal Studies (2016) 6(1): 18-58.
--. "Does the Climate Change Act 2008 Adequately Account for the UK's Devolved Jurisdictions?" European Energy and Environmental Law Review (2016) 25(3): 87-100.
--. "Warming UP: Northern Ireland's Developing Response to Climate Change in the Context of UK Devolution", UKELA E-Law (September/October, 2016) (96): 19-22.
--. ‘"To PV or not to PV": An Analysis of the High Court's Recent Treatment of Solar Energy' Environmental Law Review (2015) 17(2): 128-135.
--. ‘The Law of the Dead: A Critical Review of Burial Law, with a View to its Development' Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2014) 34(4): 791-818.
--. ‘Legal and Political Challenges of Governing the Environment and Climate Change' (Review), Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning (2015) 17(2): 301-305.
--. ‘Bones of Contention: The Medico-Legal Issues Relating to Charles Byrne, "the Irish Giant"' Queen's Political Review (2014) 2:155-166.
--. ‘Observations on Ireland's Approach to Climate Law', 24 (2014, February) Cork Online Law Review 1, http://corkonlinelawreview.com/editions/2014/ThomasLMuinzer.pdf
--. ‘A Grave Situation: An Examination of the Legal Issues raised by the Life and Death of Charles Byrne, the "Irish Giant"' International Journal of Cultural Property (2013) 20: 23-48.
--. ‘A Critical Examination of the International Community's Ability to turn International Environmental Treaties into Environmentally Useful Action' Queen's Political Review (2013) 1: 43-56.
--. with Len Doyal, ‘Authors' Reply to Moore and Smith and Colleagues', British Medical Journal (2012) 344: e557.
--. ‘Sustainable Development Law in the UK: From Rhetoric to Reality?' (Review), Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning (2012) 14(4): 473-476.
--. with Len Doyal, ‘The Hunterian Museum will continue to display Byrne's skeleton: poor arguments for a sad decision' British Medical Journal: Rapid Responses 17 February 2012, http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7597/rr/568181
--. with Len Doyal, ‘Bury the "Irish Giant": a rapid response to some positive rapid responses' British Medical Journal: Rapid Responses 1 February 2012, http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2012/02/01/re-should-skeleton-%E2%80%9C-irish-giant%E2%80%9D-be-buried-sea
--. with Len Doyal, ‘Bury the "Irish Giant": a rapid response to some critical rapid responses' British Medical Journal: Rapid Responses 1 February 2012, http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2012/02/01/re-should-skeleton-%E2%80%9C-irish-giant%E2%80%9D-be-buried-sea-0
--. with Len Doyal, ‘Why the Royal College of Surgeons should respect the wishes of "the Irish giant"', British Medical Journal (2011) 343: 1290-1292.
--. ‘Tara Motorway Toll Charge could Never Recover our Celtic Heritage', (2010) The Irish News 15th March: 22. On environmental damage and (il)legality concerning the laying of Ireland's M3 motorway through the Tara Valley in Co.Meath.
--. Research Assistant on Conway, Heather Co-Ownership of Land (2nd edn, 2012) published by Tottel Publishing, Dublin.
--. Research Assistant on Turner, Sharon & Richard Macrory, Environment and Land Transportation Law: UK Report (Report on UK Transportation for the EU's Avosetta Meeting, Fribourg, 23rd-24th November 2012).