Dr Aoife Duffy

Essex Law School
Dr Aoife Duffy
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872562

  • Location

    5S.6.14, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Thursdays 12:00 - 14:00



Dr. Aoife Duffy is an interdisciplinary human rights scholar currently affiliated with University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre. Prior to this posting, Aoife held lectureships at the National University of Ireland Galway and Dublin City University. Aoife has been the recipient of various awards and grants, including the prestigious Department of Foreign Affairs Andrew Grene scholarship in conflict resolution for her doctoral studies. With a broad horizon of research interests, Aoife has published on topics ranging from indigenous peoples’ rights to states of emergency in such journals as Human Rights Quarterly, the Journal of Refugee Law, and the International Journal of Transitional Justice. Aoife’s transitional justice scholarship examining major paradigm shifts with a retrospective lens led to the development of new historiographies shedding light on legacy issues in various case studies. Several of these have been published, including a monograph with Routledge - Torture and Human Rights in Northern Ireland: Interrogation in Depth. In tandem with legal histories, Aoife built up expertise on intelligence/security operations, detention without trial, interrogation and torture. Aoife’s interdisciplinary scholarship has evolved into other areas: synthesising theory on photography and visual framing with international law; developing an interdisciplinary framework to contextualise human rights defenders and human rights identity activism. Current innovations include texturing a bespoke pedagogy for human rights education, as well as a project on storytelling for human rights and social justice. Cross-cutting this research landscape is an intimate sensitivity to the impact of discrimination on certain people and groups, and a conviction that in order to address structural injustice, systemic marginalisation and exclusion, human rights practice and scholarship is strengthened by drawing in different disciplinary perspectives. I would particularly welcome human rights PhD supervision in a cross disciplinary arrangement.


  • PhD International Human Rights Law National University of Ireland Galway,

  • LLM International Human Rights Law National University of Ireland Galway,

  • M.Phil International Peace Studies Trinity College Dublin,

  • BA (Hons) Applied Psychology University College Cork,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Interdisciplinary Human Rights Scholarship

Open to supervise

Current research

Critical approaches to human rights and international law


Consent in International Human Rights Law

Torture, Detention & Security Operations

Tackling Marginalisation/Discrimination & Exclusion. Social Justice & Social Change

Conferences and presentations

State Torture during the Northern Ireland Conflict

Humanitarianism and Human Rights in Irish History, 5/7/2023

Pushing Human Rights Education Beyond the Law

Future of Human Rights Education conference, Human Rights Centre, Colchester, United Kingdom, 10/12/2020

Interrogation in Depth

Invited presentation, Transitional Justice Seminar Series, University of Ulster, 10/12/2019

Torture and Human Rights in Northern Ireland

Invited presentation, Symposium on the First Decade of the Troubles, University of Salford, 19/6/2019

Exploring the Dissonance between Human Rights Utopia and Reality

Law and Society Association, Law and Society Association, Toronto, Canada, 9/6/2018

Bearing Witness to Atrocity Crimes: Photography & International Law, Whitaker Institute Seminar Series, 14 December 2016.


Memories of Violence in Law, Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security Research Symposium, NUIG, 4 May 2016.


Beyond the Law: Counter-Terror Interrogation, Violent Contexts: Ireland and the Wider World, University College Cork, 1 April 2016.

Cork, Ireland, 2016

Ireland v United Kingdom,Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Seattle 28-31 May, 2015.

Seattle, United States, 2015

Gardens of (In)Justice: Detention without Trial in the British Empire, Critical Legal Conference, Stockholm, 14-16 September, 2012.

Stockholm, Sweden, 2012

Deciphering the Nomos of the Camp, International Studies Association, Montreal, March 2011.

Montreal, Canada, 2011

UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security: Incorporating a Gender Perspective, Liberia Timor-Leste Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs Rapporteur on Transitional Justice, Monrovia, Liberia, 13-16 April, 2010.

Monrovia, Liberia, 2010

Human Rights and Conflict in Darfur, War, Virtual War and Human Security Conference, Budapest, May 2008.

Budapest, Hungary, 2008

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Foundations of Human Rights (HU100)

  • Human Rights, Social Justice and Social Change (HU928)

  • Law and Literature (LT394)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

  • Transitional Justice (LW927)

Previous supervision

Carla Patricia Forneira Prado
Carla Patricia Forneira Prado
Degree subject: Occasional Study: Law (Research)
Degree type: Occasional Postgraduate Study
Awarded date: 13/1/2019


Journal articles (9)

Duffy, A., Universality: recognizing the right to have rights. Intercultural Human Rights Law Review. 18

Duffy, A., (2023). An Emancipatory Pedagogy for Human Rights Education

Duffy, A., (2018). Bearing Witness to Atrocity Crimes: Photography & International Law. Human Rights Quarterly. 40 (4), 776-814

Duffy, A., (2016). Searching for Accountability: British-Controlled Detention in Southeast Iraq, 2003–2008. International Journal of Transitional Justice. 10 (3), 410-431

Duffy, A., (2015). Legacies of British Colonial Violence: Viewing Kenyan Detention Camps through the Hanslope Disclosure. Law and History Review. 33 (03), 489-542

Duffy, AM., (2012). Detainee as Exile: Theorising the Politico-legal Underpinnings of Executive Detention. Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law. 7 (1), 1-17

Duffy, A., (2010). A Truth Commission for Northern Ireland?. International Journal of Transitional Justice. 4 (1), 26-46

Duffy, A., (2008). Expulsion to Face Torture? Non-refoulement in International Law. International Journal of Refugee Law. 20 (3), 373-390

Duffy, A., (2008). Indigenous Peoples' Land Rights: Developing a Sui Generis Approach to Ownership and Restitution. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights. 15 (4), 505-538

Books (1)

Duffy, A., (2019). Torture and Human Rights in Northern Ireland Interrogation in Depth. Routledge. 0367030454. 9780367030452

Book chapters (3)

Duffy, A., (2023). The Right to Withdraw Consent to Continuing an Unwanted Pregnancy. In: Consent: Gender, Power and Subjectivity. Routledge

Duffy, AM., (2017). Recuperación de la verdad tras los conflictos en Irlanda del Norte?. In: Historia y Actualidad. Editors: Jimeno, R., . Thomson Reuters Aranzadi

Duffy, AM., (2015). Expulsion to face torture? Non-refoulement in international law. In: Refugees and Rights. Editors: Crock, M., . Routledge. 109- 126. 1472455797. 9781472455796

Conferences (1)

Duffy, A., An Emancipatory Pedagogy for Human Rights Education

Grants and funding


Agree to Disagree? Responding to Intolerant Narratives in Initiatives for Transformative Justice

University of Essex (ESRC IAA)

+44 (0) 1206 872562


5S.6.14, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Thursdays 12:00 - 14:00