Academic Staff

Professor Lorna McGregor LLB (Hons) (Edinburgh), LLM (Harvard)

Position in departmentDirector, Human Rights Centre
Staff positionProfessor
Telephone01206 873871

Lorna McGregor is a Professor in the Law School and Director of the Human Rights Centre. She researches and teaches in the areas of public international law, particularly international human rights law, international criminal law and transitional justice. Her work has appeared in journals such as the American Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law, the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, the Journal of International Criminal Justice and the International Journal of Transitional Justice and has been cited by the UK House of Lords and International Court of Justice. She is the Co-Director of an ESRC Large Grant (£5 million) on Technology, Big Data and Human Rights; the Principal Investigator of a Nuffield-funded project on the role of National Human Rights Institutions in Complaints-Handling; a Co-Investigator on an ESRC-funded project on Utilising Big Data in the Practice of Torture Survivors' Rehabilitation and a Co-Investigator on a British Academy Newton Fund grant on The Effects of International Human Rights Law on Public International Law and its Sub-Branches. In addition to these projects, Lorna's current research and practice is focused on the nature and forms of remedies and alternative dispute resolution under international human rights law; state responsibility for violence and abuse carried out by non-state actors (particularly trafficking in human beings, hate crimes and violence against women); and detention and prison law.
Lorna is a Co-Chair of the European Society of International Law's Interest Group on Human Rights, a Commissioner of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission and a member of REDRESS’ Legal Advisory Council. Between 2012 - 2015, she was a co-chair of an expert group of academics and human rights practitioners on the review of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and was an independent expert at the UN Intergovernmental Expert Meeting on the review of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners in Argentina in December 2012.
Prior to joining the Law School, Lorna was the International Legal Adviser at REDRESS where she litigated cases on behalf of torture survivors before the UN treaty bodies and regional human rights commissions and courts; acted as amicus curiae before national and regional courts; and carried out research, law reform and capacity building activities on torture and reparation at the national regional and international level. She has previously held positions as a Programme Lawyer at the International Bar Association, the State Immunity Project Coordinator at REDRESS and in Sri Lanka at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies. Lorna holds an LL.B (First Class Honours) from Edinburgh Law School and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, where she was a Kennedy Memorial Trust Scholar and Henigson Fellow. She is admitted as an attorney in New York State.
Teaching responsibilities

LW929, Detention under International Law

LW911, European Convention on Human Rights

LW805, International Criminal Law for Humanitarian Situations

LW901, International Human Rights: Law, Institutions and Practice


Selected Publications


K. McEvoy and L. McGregor (eds.), Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change (Hart Publishing, 2008)

Selected Journal Articles

'Alternative Dispute Resolution and Human Rights: Developing a Rights-Based Approach through the ECHR' forthcoming European Journal of International Law

‘Applying the Definition of Torture to the Acts of Non-State Actors: the Case of Trafficking in Human Beings’ 36(1) Human Rights Quarterly 210 (2014)

‘Transitional Justice and the Prevention of Torture’ 7 International Journal of Transitional Justice 29 - 51 (2013)

‘State Immunity and Human Rights: Is there a Future after Germany v. Italy?’ 11 Journal of International Criminal Justice 125 - 145 (2013) 

‘The Role of Supranational Human Rights Litigation in Strengthening Remedies for Torture Nationally’ 16(5) International Journal of Human Rights 737 – 756 (2012)

‘Torture and State Immunity: Deflecting Impunity, Distorting Sovereignty’, 18 European Journal of International Law 903 – 919 (2007)

‘State Immunity and Jus Cogens’, 55(2) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 437 – 445 (2006)

‘Beyond the Time and Space of Peace Talks: Re-Appropriating the Peace Process in Sri Lanka’, 11(1) International Journal of Peace Studies 39 - 57 (2006)

‘Reconciliation: I Know It When I See It’, 9(2) Contemporary Justice Review 155 – 174 (2006)

‘Individual Accountability in South Africa: Cultural Optimum or Political Façade?’, 95(1) American Journal of International Law 32 – 45 (2001)

Edited Book Contributions Include:

‘Legal Routes to Restoring Individual Rights at Guantanamo Bay: The Effectiveness of Habeas Corpus Applications and Efforts to Obtain Diplomatic Protection’ in A. Edwards and C. Ferstman (eds.), Human Security and Non-Citizens: Law, Policy and International Affairs (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

‘International Law as a Tiered Process: A Framework for Responses to the Experience of Conflict at the Local, National and International Level’ in K. McEvoy and L. McGregor (eds.), Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change (Hart Publishing, 2008) 47 – 73

‘Transitional Justice from Below: An Agenda for Research, Policy and Praxis’ (with K. McEvoy, first author) in K. McEvoy and L. McGregor (eds.), Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change (Hart Publishing, 2008) 1 - 13

‘Reconciliation: Where is the Law?’ in S. Veitch (ed.), Law and the Politics of Reconciliation (Ashgate, 2007) 111 - 128

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