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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD supervision and have experience working with high quality students to secure external PhD scholarship funding in the following areas: - Human rights theory and practice - Critical legal theory - Feminst legal studies - Queer theory and law


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Kathryn is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law. Her research intersects the areas of international human rights theory and practice, feminist and gender scholarship, and critical legal theory. She is particularly interested in gendered and critical engagements with the theoretical underpinnings and everyday activity of human rights.

Kathryn is the author of a monograph titled Human Rights and Radical Social Transformation: Futurity, Alterity, Power which was shortlisted for the 2018 Hart-SLSA Early Career Prize. She is currently undertaking a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2019-2020) investigating issues of time and materiality in international human rights law monitoring. In 2018 Kathryn was awarded the QUB Vice Chancellor's Early Career Research Prize. This University-wide Prize recognises a scholar whose research demonstrates outstanding significance and excellence in the first 5 years of their career.

Kathryn's work has been presented widely including as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia, funded by the County Antrim Grand Jury Bursary, and in conversation with Professor Judith Butler at LSE School of Law in February 2015. In September 2016 Kathryn was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto.

Kathryn is a contributor to a number of collaborative research initiatives. These include the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project, a venture between academics and legal practitioners which sought to bring a feminist methodology to bear on key cases in Northern/Irish law. She is also a co-founder of the Reproductive Health Law and Policy Advisory Group, a joint initiative between Queen's University Belfast, the University of Liverpool and Ulster University which facilitates knowledge transfer between academics, policy and law-makers and wider stakeholders on issues related to reproductive rights and health. This work has been cited by a number of reports and bodies, including the United Nations CEDAW Committee.

Kathryn is an Editorial Board Member of the leading UK feminist law journal, Feminist Legal Studies. She is also an Associate with Oxford Human Rights Hub.

You can follow Kathryn's research on Twitter and on academia.edu. Her work has been featured on a number of news/public engagement outlets, including The Conversation, The Independent and LSE Politics and Policy.


Kathryn teaches in the areas of Legal Theory, Human Rights, Gender and Law, and Equity.


In 2018 Kathryn led the School of Law's successful application for a Bronze Athena SWAN Award. This national Award recognises the School's commitment to gender equality and addressing of challenges in this area.

As Athena SWAN Champion Kathryn led development of the School's artwork installation and companion text 'Women in Law: It's Hard to Be What You Can't See' in collaboration with local artist, Susie Rea.

Kathryn was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award for her work in this area at the Queen's Staff Excellence Awards 2018.

Further information on Athena SWAN can be found here.

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Research Output

Abortion Activism, Legal Change, and Taking Feminist Law Work Seriously

Enright, M., McNeilly, K. & de Londras, F., 23 Jun 2020, In : Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. 71, 3(OA), OA7-OA33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 8 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    310 Downloads (Pure)

    Sex/Gender is Fluid, What Now for Feminism and International Human Rights Law? A Call to Queer the Foundations

    McNeilly, K., May 2019, Research Handbook on Feminist Engagement with International Law. Harris Rimmer, S. & Ogg, K. (eds.). Edward Elgar Publishing

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Judging the Singular: Towards a Contingent Practice of Improvisation in Law

    McNeilly, K., Stapleton, P. & Ramshaw, S. (Guest ed.), 03 Apr 2018, In : Critical Studies in Improvisation. 12, 1, 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 132 Downloads (Pure)


    Hart-SLSA Early Career Prize Shortlist

    McNeilly, Kathryn (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2019-20

    McNeilly, Kathryn (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • SLSA Seminar Competition Award

    McNeilly, Kathryn (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    The International Journal of Human Rights (Journal)

    Kathryn McNeilly (Peer reviewer)

    Apr 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Global Norms in a Divided World

    Kathryn McNeilly (Participant)

    27 Feb 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Routledge (Publisher)

    Kathryn McNeilly (Peer reviewer)

    Jun 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Edited Collection Workshop: The Times and Temporality of International Human Rights Law

    Kathryn McNeilly (Organiser), & Ben Warwick (Organiser)

    19 Mar 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Calling Time at the Bar: Helena Normanton and Her Challenge to the Legal Profession – School of Law International Women's Day Celebration

    Kathryn McNeilly (Organiser)

    08 Mar 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Press / Media

    What Feminism Can Teach Us About Alterity and Law on Mars

    Kathryn McNeilly


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research

    CEDAW and Northern Ireland Abortion Law

    Kathryn McNeilly


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities