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 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 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 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 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 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, the longest-established postgraduate programme sponsored by the European Commission, and a member of the Council of the Global Campus of Human Rights, a global network of more than 100 universities educating the next generation of human rights professionals.

She is founding editor of GC Human Rights Preparedness, co-editor of the Hart book series, Law and Health, associate editor of BMC Health & Human Rights, 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, and she is currently a member of the Moral & Ethical Advisory Group of the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

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 and society pathway that is part of the ESRC NINE Doctoral Training Partnership, and is Queen's subject area lead for law 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 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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Research Output

The Birth and Development of Human Rights for Health

Mason Meier, B., Murphy, T. & Gostin, L. O., 2020, Foundations of Global Health and Human Rights. Gostin, L. O. & Meier, B. M. (eds.). Oxford University Press

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

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
  • 15 Downloads (Pure)


    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
    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship

    Murphy, Thérèse (Recipient), 2006

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Canadian High Commission Award, University of Toronto Research Visit

    Murphy, Thérèse (Recipient), 1995

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Founding editor, GC Human Rights Preparedness, an open access initiative designed to build a human rights-based approach to pandemics and other emergencies (Journal)

    Thérèse Murphy (Editorial board member)

    30 Jun 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity


    Raising the Bar: Gender and the Careers of Women Barristers in Northern Ireland

    Author: Treanor, L., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: Murphy, T. (Supervisor) & McCrudden, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy