Fiona De Londras

Colleges, School and Institutes


Fiona de Londras joined Birmingham Law School as the inaugural Chair in Global Legal Studies in the summer of 2015. From 2019-2022 she is Honorary Professor at the Australian National University, College of Law. She was previously professor ar Durham Law School and lecturer at University College Dublin. She has undertaken human rights consultancy work for politicians, government departments, and large international institutions. 

Fiona’s research and teaching interests are broadly in the fields of human rights and comparative constitutional law. In her work she particularly explores the role of rights in contentious policy contexts, asking whether and if so how human rights laws shape or influence policy choices, translated into law, in highly contested policy fields. Her work so far has explored these questions primarily in three contexts: counter-terrorism, reproductive rights (especially abortion law), and the development and domestic impacts of the European Convention on Human Rights. She also uses her legal academic expertise to influence policy, politics and legal decision making, having worked with politicians and civil society in Ireland, Gibraltar, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Her work has been funded by the European Commission, the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and the Leverhulme Trust. In 2017 she was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in law, awarded to recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. This Prize is supporting her research agenda from November 2018-2021.

Professor de Londras is an associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, senior associate of the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs in the University of Toronto, and affiliate of the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative in Emory University (Atlanta). She previously held advisory roles in Koç University (Istanbul), the University of Copenhagen, and University College Cork, and is on the advisory boards of major research projects based in the UK and Sweden. She was previously visiting professor at UCD School of Law, and adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales (Sydney).

Professor de Londras is the joint editor-in-chief of the Irish Yearbook of International Law. She was, for six years, co-editor of the journal Legal Studies in which capacity she also sat on the Executive of the Society of Legal Scholars; she continues to serve on the Society’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is a member of the editorial advisory committees of Irish Studies in International Affairs, the University of Wales Press series on International Law, the The Hague Justice Journal, the International Journal of Law in Context, and the IALS Open Book Service for Law. She has reviewed for publishers, journals and funders all over the world, and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review and Strategic colleges.

Professor de Londras regularly appears in print, online, radio, TV and documentary media discussing human rights and comparative constitutional law as well as current affairs more generally. 

Fiona previously held (short-term) visiting positions at University of Peshawar (Pakistan), Emory Law School (Atlanta, GA), University of Minnesota, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (London), the Transitional Justice Institute (University of Ulster), Osgoode Hall Law School (York University, Toronto), the University of Oxford (affiliated to Oxford Human Rights Hub, the OMS Human Rights for Future Generations Programme, and Lincoln College), the University of Hong Kong, and the Australian National University. From 2010-2012 she was a research fellow of the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law. She has delivered keynote lectures all over the world, including in Toronto, Dublin, London, Istanbul, Antwerp, and Dhaka. 

Research interests

Professor de Londras’ work is fundamentally concerned with the role, impact and operation of constitutionalism and rights in 'complex' policy areas (i.e. areas in respect of which there are no 'right answers'). In exploring these matters, her work concentrates broadly on  terrorism/security and the law, (comparative) constitutional law, human rights law, and gender and the law. Inevitably these themes sometimes overlap; much of her work on human rights law for example has taken place in, or develops further the work that Professor de Londras has done in, the security/counter-terrorism context. 

Prof. de Londras’ work strives to consider law in context, and almost always adopts a comparative approach drawing insights from comparative constitutional law in particular, but also international law and international human rights law. In some of her work there is an empirical element; for example, the SECILE project (on EU counter-terrorism) was heavily empirically informed having engaged in a structured manner with dozens of stakeholders. Professor de Londras’ research work has been funded by the European Commission FP7 fund, the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and under the auspices of an ERC grant held in the Israel Democracy Institute. In 2017 Professor de Londras was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law, which is supporting her full-time research agenda from November 2018-2021.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Professor de Londras currently supervises students working on (national, comparative, and international) public law and on topics as diverse as the conceptualisation of security in law, the future of the ECtHR, postcoloniality and nationality law, migrants' rights, and the regulation of abortion information. Her former doctoral students now hold academic posts at leading law schools around the world, in practice, and in regulatory and policy bodies. She has a strong track record of supporting doctoral students in securing funding from the AHRC, Irish Research Council, and the NUI Travelling Studentship fund as well as their own national governments and the University of Birmingham.

At this time, Professor de Londras has a large group of doctoral researchers. Her capacity to take on new students is therefore very limited, but she would be pleased to hear from exceptional students interested in undertaking work on:

The European Court of Human Rights
Counter-terrorism/security, transnationalism, and human rights
Comparative constitutional law
Abortion law reform