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, following time as professor of law at Durham Law School and a lecturer at University College Dublin. Fiona’s research and teaching are in the fields of human rights and comparative constitutional law, exploring the role of rights in contentious policy context with a particular focus on counter-terrorism. Her work has been funded by the European Commission, the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, and under the auspices of an ERC grant held in the Israel Democracy Institute. 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.

Professor de Londras is an associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, and senior associate of the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs in the University of Toronto. In addition, she holds advisory roles at Koç University (Istanbul), the University of Copenhagen, and her alma mater: University College Cork. 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. 

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), and the University of Hong Kong. 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 Istanbul, Antwerp, and Dhaka. In January 2015 she was Genest Global Visitor at Osgoode Hall, as part of which she delivered the Pierre Genest Memorial Lecture. In 2015 she also delivered the Séan Lester Lecture for the Irish Society of International Law. In 2017 she was the Cheng Chan Lan Yue Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Hong Kong School of Law. In 2018 she presented the Annual Human Rights Lecture of the Law Society of Ireland, and in November 2018 she delivered a Current Legal Problems lecture in UCL.

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 anwers'). In exploring these matters, her work concentrates broadly on four areas: terrorism/security and the law, 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