Natasa Mavronicola


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Professor Mavronicola is keen to supervise postgraduate research students whose research interests lie in the following areas:

torture and inhuman and degrading treatment
the right to life
the interpretation of human rights
LGBT* rights
the interplay between counter-terrorism and human rights
the relationship between human dignity and human rights
the intersections between human rights and criminal justice
the relationship of any of the above with legal philosophy


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Professor Mavronicola joined Birmingham Law School as a Senior Lecturer in September 2016, and has been Professor of Human Rights Law since 2022. She was previously a Lecturer in Law at Queen’s University Belfast (2013-2016), a Teaching Fellow at University College London’s Faculty of Laws (2008-2012), and a supervisor and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Cambridge (2010-2012). She has also been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Osnabrück (2013-2015).

Professor Mavronicola graduated from University College London’s Faculty of Laws in 2007 with a First Class LLB (Hons), attaining the best degree result in her graduating class and receiving the Faculty’s Andrews Medal. She completed the BCL at the University of Oxford with Distinction in 2008. After qualifying as a lawyer in Cyprus in 2010, she completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014, also spending three months as a visiting doctoral researcher at Harvard Law School. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has lectured in a range of subjects, including public law, legal theory, human rights, and counter-terrorism. 

Research interests

Professor Mavronicola is chiefly interested in the theory and interpretation of human rights. Her research has focused on pursuing dynamic coherence in the interpretation of human rights. With this overarching agenda, she has probed the dynamics of negative and positive obligations under certain fundamental and well-elaborated rights, such as the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or related ill-treatment. Her research explores various intersections between human rights and criminal justice, notably duties to mobilise the criminal law in supranational human rights doctrine, as well as the relationship between human dignity and human rights. She has published on these topics in a number of journals, including the Human Rights Law Review and the Modern Law Review, and edited collections, as well as in a recent monograph: Torture, Inhumanity and Degradation under Article 3 of the ECHR: Absolute Rights and Absolute Wrongs (Hart Publishing 2021) - recipient of the Society of Legal Scholars Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.

Between March 2017 and July 2019, Professor Mavronicola served as Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer. In this period she worked on a number of thematic reports submitted by the Rapporteur to the United Nations General Assembly or Human Rights Council (such as report A/72/178 on the extra-custodial use of force; report A/HRC/40/59 on the relationship between torture and corruption; and report A/74/148 on domestic violence). She also advised on the Rapporteur's 2021 report A/76/168 on accountability for torture and ill-treatment. Professor Mavronicola has also provided expert input to the Council of Europe on policing and ill-treatment, and on counter-terrorism and human rights, and has given evidence to the Oireachtas. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development 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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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