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 …2021

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: (1) health and human rights; (2) science, technology and human rights; and (3) human rights method. She is also keen to hear from those 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 early-career researchers 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 Hart Publishing's book series on 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.

Thérèse is a member of Ireland's National Research Ethics Committee for Medical Devices, Northern Ireland's Health & Social Care Regional Clinical Ethics Forum, and the UK four-nations Moral & Ethical Advisory Group of the Department of Health and Social Care in London. She is also a member of 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. 

At Queen's Belfast, Thérèse is the University's Director of the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership sponsored by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council. Previously, she led the law and society pathway that is part of the ESRC NINE Doctoral Training Partnership

Awards for Thérèse's research 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 Stephen Livingstone; New Technologies and Human Rights; and European Law and New Health Technologies. Her book Health and Human Rights marked 10 years of the 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 Belfast in 2015; prior to this, she was professor of law and co-director of the Economic & Social Rights Unit at the University of Nottingham. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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