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Robin Callender Smith

Honorary Professor of Media Law, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Dr Robin Callender Smith is Honorary Professor of Media Law at QMUL's Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( CCLS). He is a three-time graduate from QMUL and a barrister.

In 1973 he completed his LLB and was taught commercial law by the founder of CCLS, Sir Roy Goode QC. He completed his LLM in Computer and Communications Law with Distinction at CCLS in 2010 and his PhD – on celebrity privacy, the media and the law - in November 2014. His textbook Celebrity and Royal Privacy, the Media and the Law is published by Sweet and Maxwell.

He has been a media law barrister for over 40 years advising national newspaper on editors on pre-publication issues of libel, contempt, misuse of private information, copyright, breach of confidence and misuse of private information.

Until age-required retirement in 2017 he had two part-time judicial appointments. Since 2007 he had worked as an Information Rights Judge dealing with appeals under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Since 2006 he had worked as an Immigration Judge. He was also a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) from 2006 - 2012 and a Mental Health Tribunal Judge from 2004 - 2012.

He was Chairman of the Independent Appeals Body (IAB) of PhonepayPlus, the premium rate telephone service Regulator recognised by Ofcom, and a Chairman of Metropolitan Police Disciplinary Tribunals appointed by the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

He was a member of the energy Regulator Ofgem’s independent Enforcement Decision Panel (EDP), a Lay Member of the Executive Board of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and a member of the CII’s Professional Standards Committee.

From 2012 – 2014 he was a Deputy Chairman of the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - formerly the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - dealing with high-profile and complex issues of market abuse, professional fitness to practice and corporate governance across the financial services sector including LIBOR and EURIBOR cases. He joined the FCA’s RDC in 2005.

He is an Independent Adjudicator appointed by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) to determine issues within the authority’s Customer Dispute Resolution Scheme (CDRS) in respect of complaints made by customers and QFCRA-authorised firms.

He was an elected member from 2004 - 2007 of the Bar Council, a Vice Chairman of the Disability Committee and member of the Law Reform Committee (having led on the Mental Health Act 2007 and the Courts, Tribunals and Enforcement Act 2007). He was also an elected Member of Gray’s Inn Barristers’ Committee from 2004 – 2007. He is a Vice President of the London’s biggest youth charity London Youth having been a Trustee from 2006 – 2012.

He worked as a journalist for the Eastern Daily Press and Eastern Evening News in East Anglia for four years from 1966 – 70 before his undergraduate studies at QMUL.


  • –present
    Visiting Professor in Media Law, Queen Mary University of London


  • 2014 
    QMUL, PhD
  • 2010 
    QMUL, LLM (Distinction) Computer and Communications Law
  • 1974 
    Gray's Inn, Bar Finals
  • 1973 


  • 2015
    Celebrity and Royal Privacy, the Media and the Law, Sweet & Maxwell
  • 1978
    Press Law, Sweet & Maxwell

Professional Memberships

  • Barrister