PhD Students

Mr Patrick Gallahue

Patrick Gallahue is a communications officer at Open Society Foundations, where he helps develop and execute advocacy and communications strategies for the Global Drug Policy Program.

Prior to joining Open Society Foundations, Patrick spent three years at Harm Reduction International, researching human rights abuses stemming from drug control. In this role, Patrick produced several major reports for the organization as well as carrying out a program of work with the United Nations and the European Union. With a particular focus on capital punishment, he authored several urgent appeals and civil society stakeholder submissions to the UN Human Rights Council as well as articles in media ranging from The Guardian to peer-reviewed academic journals. Patrick has also provided expert submissions to constitutional challenges to the death penalty in Singapore and India.

Prior to working on drug policy, Patrick held positions with Child Workers in Nepal and The Dome Project’s Juvenile Justice Program in New York.

In addition, Patrick worked for seven years as a journalist in New York City, where he wrote about crime, local development, politics, and transport.


National University of Ireland, Galway
LL.M: International Human Rights Law, 2009

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn NY, USA
Bachelor of Arts: East Asian Studies, Minor: Chinese Language, 2007

Additional Training

Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway, Ireland
Minority Rights, Indigenous People and Human Rights Law (2009)

Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway, Ireland
Summer Course on the International Criminal Court (2009)


 [Co-author] ‘The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2012 – Tipping the Scales for Abolition, November 2012, Harm Reduction International

  • This report, the final in a three-part series, looks at developing national jurisprudence on the death penalty for drug offences. In particular it considers how domestic courts engaged with international human rights standards, such as the ‘most serious crimes’ requirement as articulated in Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

[Co-author] ‘Partners in Crime: International Funding for Drug Control and Gross Human Rights’, June 2012, Harm Reduction International

  • This report tracks technical and financial assistance for drug control from donor states, often via the United Nations, to countries where executions, arbitrary detention, physical abuse and slave labour are weapons in the war on drugs.

[Co-author] ‘Harm Reduction and Human Rights’, December 2011, INTERIGHTS Bulletin

  • This essay presents a review of international jurisprudence on harm reduction and support for harm reduction interventions expressed by UN human rights bodies.

Narco-Terror: Conflating the Wars on Drugs and Terror’, October 2011, Essex Human Rights Review

  • This paper explores the use of emergency laws and other anti-terror measures in the war on drugs and implications that ‘merging wars’ could have for international human rights protections.

‘The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2011 – Shared Responsibility and Shared Consequences’, September 2011, Harm Reduction International

  • This follow-up to the 2010 Global Overview disaggregates non-nationals of prosecuting states facing capital punishment for drug offences abroad in order to highlight the risks that financial and technical counter-narcotics assistance presents to donor states’ own citizens.

Mexico’s War on Drugs – Real or Rhetorical Armed Conflict?’ April 2011, Journal on the International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict

  • This article explores whether the crisis in Mexico can be classified as an armed conflict, which would bring international humanitarian law into effect. This paper argues that classifying Mexico’s situation as an armed conflict would be inappropriate because these groups lack the level of organisation required in international law. Moreover, declaring such a situation an armed conflict risks weakening human rights protections.

[Co-author] ‘Complicity or Abolition? The Death Penalty and International Support for Drug Enforcement’, June 2010, Harm Reduction International

  • This report exposes links between the death penalty and international support for drug enforcement provided by abolitionist governments, such as Australia and Member States of the European Union. It identifies people captured with international financial and technical assistance and subsequently sentenced to death and/or executed. It argues for human rights assessments to be conducted by donor states and implementing agencies in order to identify the human rights risks associated with supporting drug control in certain environments.

[Co-author] ‘The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2010’, May 2010, Harm Reduction International

  • This report provides the first-ever survey of countries that prescribe the death penalty for drug offences in law and practice. It tracks the rise of capital drug laws in each of the 32 national jurisdictions that prescribe the death penalty for drug-related offences. It provides figures, where possible, of those sentenced to death or executed each year and categorises these countries based on how aggressively they carry out these punishments.

Targeted Killing of Drug Lords: Traffickers as Members of Armed Opposition Groups and/or Direct Participants in Hostilities’, April 2010, International Journal on Human Rights and Drug Policy

  • This paper considers a US proposal to put fifty Afghan drug traffickers with links to the Taliban on a ‘kill list’. This article argues that the proposal challenges a cornerstone of international humanitarian law, the principle of distinction, and that drug traffickers, even those who support the Taliban, are not legitimate targets according to the rules applicable to non-international armed conflict.
Study areas

 Human rights law and the international drug control treaties.

SupervisorProfessor Sir Nigel Rodley
Thesis titleHuman Rights and the Cooperative Elements of the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs

 ‘Shared Responsibility: Drug Control and Human Rights’, The Practice of Shared Responsibility in International Criminal Law, Amsterdam Center for International law (Amsterdam Netherlands, 28 March 2013)

Debate: This House Would End the War on Drugs, Trinity College Historical Society (Dublin Ireland, 10 October 2012)

Civil Society statement at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs: ‘The Death Penalty for Drug Offences and International Human Rights Law’ (Vienna Austria, 14 March 2012)

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2011’, International Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations for the Prevention of Drug and Substance Abuse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8 November 2011)

Challenging the Death Penalty for Drug Offences in Asia’, The 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (Busan, Republic of Korea, 27 August 2011)

‘Human Rights Impact Assessments and the Right to Health in Drug Policy’ [Poster Presentation] International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (Busan Republic of Korea, August 2011)

Human Rights Impact Assessments as a Safeguard Against Abusive Practices’, International Harm Reduction Association’s 22nd Annual Conference (Beirut Lebanon, April 2011)

Moderator, ‘Change We Can Believe In? The Inside Story on PEPFAR and US Politics on Drug Policy’, International Harm Reduction Association’s 22nd Annual Conference (Beirut Lebanon, April 2011)

Presentation to the UK Parliament, All Party Parliamentary Group for the Abolition of the Death Penalty (London UK, 29 March 2011)

Human Rights and Drug Policy’, Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK Annual Conference, University of Manchester (Manchester UK, 26 March 2011)

The Death Penalty and International Support for Drug Enforcement’, Centre for Capital Punishment Studies, University of Westminster (London UK, 26 November 2010)

Presentation to the European Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee, hearing on the death penalty (Brussels Belgium, 14 October 2010)

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2010’, International Harm Reduction Association’s 21st Annual Conference (Liverpool UK, April 2010)

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