Thérèse Murphy


  • Room 05.025 - Main Site Tower

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

1. Health and human rights, where my interests are wide-ranging and include access to medicines, reproductive rights, and the history of the health and human rights law movement 2. Science, technology and human rights, in particular questions concerning law's capacity to regulate the life sciences 3. Human rights method 4. Human rights more broadly 5. Health law and ethics 6. Global health law

1992 …2019

Research output 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 both 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 one of 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 is an experienced PhD supervisor. She currently has seven PhD students working on a wide range of topics, including: (1) a rights-based approach to the privatisation of healthcare; (2) obstetric negligence; (3) a rights-based approach to gender stereotyping and the exclusion of pregnant schoolgirls in Nigeria; (4) gender and the careers of women barristers at the Bar of Northern Ireland; (5) the framing of female terrorist fighters within international human rights law; (6) the rape trial in Northern Ireland; and (7) whether a new legislative framework is needed to protect data subjects. 

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 who have secured funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the UK's Economic and Social Research Council, and the European Commission's Marie Sklodowska-Curie scheme. Thérèse welcomes enquiries from talented candidates who are interested in being mentored within the Health & Human Rights Unit.


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

She has wide-ranging expertise in the successful 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 has also been a pioneer in the provision of skills programmes for law students at all levels.  


Thérèse is chairperson of the European Master's in Human Rights & Democratisation, the longest-established postgraduate programme sponsored by the European Commission. In this capacity, she sits on the Council of the Global Campus of Human Rights, a global network of universities educating the next generation of human rights professionals.

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

She has written reports for national and international bodies, including UNAIDS, the Department of Health and the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. She leads the Law & Society Pathway that is part of the ESRC NINE Doctoral Training Partnership, and is Subject Area Lead for Law & Legal Studies within the AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership

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. Her work 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, which was published by Hart in the summer of 2013, marked 10 years of the series '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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Research Output

Health and Human Rights' Past: Patinating Law's Contribution

Murphy, T., 09 Dec 2019, In : Health and Human Rights Journal. 21, 2, p. 205-214 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • What's Law got to do with Good Science?: A Debate and Dialogue

    Turkmendag, I., Fox, M., Thompson, C. & Murphy, T., 01 Jun 2019, In : Social and Legal Studies. 28, 3, p. 392-413

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Downloads (Pure)

    What's Law got to do with Human Germline Editing? A blogpost for Social & Legal Studies

    Turkmendag, I. & Murphy, T., 12 Jul 2019, Social & Legal Studies.

    Research output: Other contribution

    Open Access


    Murphy, T., 2018, International Law's Objects: Emergence, Encounter and Erasure through Object and Image. Hohmann, J. & Joyce, D. (eds.). Oxford University Press

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

    Open Access

    Hardwired Human Rights

    Murphy, T., 2018, Research Handbook on Global Health Law. Burci, G. L. & Toebes, B. (eds.). Edward Elgar Publishing, (Research Handbooks on Globalisation & the Law).

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

    Open Access


    Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship

    Thérèse Murphy (Recipient), 2006

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Canadian High Commission Award, University of Toronto Research Visit

    Thérèse Murphy (Recipient), 1995

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities