Thérèse Murphy


  • Room 05.025 - Main Site Tower

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising PhDs on: health and human rights - science, technology and human rights, in particular questions concerning law's capacity to regulate the life sciences - human rights method - human rights more broadly - health law and ethics - global health law

1992 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Focus

Professor Thérèse Murphy's work focuses on human rights law and practice. She is particularly interested in health and human rights, including the right to science and the relationship between new technologies and human rights. She is also interested in human rights method.


Thérèse welcomes expressions of interest from prospective PhD students who want to conduct original work in her areas of expertise: health and human rights; science, technology and human rights; and human rights method. She is also keen to hear from prospective students who want to work on other topics within the human rights field, or on health law and ethics.

Thérèse has particular expertise as a mentor to postdoctoral research fellows. As part of the Health & Human Rights Unit, which she established at Queen's Belfast, she has mentored fellows funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the UK's Economic and Social Research Council, and the European Commission's Marie Sklodowska-Curie scheme.


Thérèse holds a UK university prize for teaching, the Lord Dearing Award for Teaching & Learning. 

She has wide-ranging expertise in the design and delivery of law modules, including more than 20 years' experience leading courses for beginning law students. On the postgraduate side, Thérèse led the team that introduced Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights, the first such option on a Taught Master's programme in the UK. 


Thérèse is chairperson of the European Master's in Human Rights & Democratisation, an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme sponsored by the European Commission. In addition, she sits on governing body of the Global Campus of Human Rights, a  network of more than 100 universities, across seven world regions, educating the next generation of human rights professionals.

She is co-editor in chief and co-founding editor of GC Human Rights Preparedness, co-editor of the Hart book series, Law and Health, and a longstanding member of the editorial board of Oxford University Press' Human Rights Law Review. For a number of years, she acted as an advisor to the British Council.

She is a member of the UK four-nations Moral & Ethical Advisory Group of the Department of Health and Social Care (London), and has written reports for national and international bodies, including UNAIDS, the Department of Health and the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. In 2020 she joined the Ethical Advisory Group established by Northern Ireland's Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) as part of the Expert Review of the records of the deceased patients of Dr W, a consultant neurologist. 

Thérèse has led the law and society pathway that is part of the ESRC NINE Doctoral Training Partnership, and her work with QUB Law's PhD team achieved a top-three ranking in the Research Culture Prize awarded annually by the University's Vice Chancellor. 

Awards for Thérèse's work have come from a range of sources. She has been a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School, a Holding Redlich Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Monash University, a Visiting Research Professor at the Law & Innovation Group at Newcastle University, and both a Jean Monnet Fellow and a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in Italy. She has also won awards from two of the UK's research councils and from the Canadian High Commission.

Thérèse's books include Civil Liberties Law: The Human Rights Act Era, written with Noel Whitty and Steven Livingstone; New Technologies and Human Rights; and European Law and New Health Technologies. Her book Health and Human Rights marked 10 years of the successful Hart/Bloomsbury series on Human Rights Law in Perspective. Her most recent book is The United Nations Special Procedures System, which she edited with Aoife Nolan and Rosa Freedman.


Thérèse studied law at University College Dublin and Cambridge University, and became a member of King's Inns, Dublin where she was admitted to the Bar.

She joined Queen's in 2015; prior to this, she was professor of law and co-director of the Economic & Social Rights Unit at the University of Nottingham. 


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