PhD Students (completed)

Mr Ryan Hill

Extensive experience in international development and relief, including in conflict and post-conflict areas

Teaching experience in constitututional law, human rights law, human rights theory and practice, philosophy and the law


BA (Hons) Philosophy with Human Rights

LLM International Human Rights Law

IMI Certificate in Management

Current research

Various around issues of human rights legitimacy and freedom of religion/diversity

Research interests

Legal philosophy

Political philosophy

Human rights theory and practice

Social justice issues



 "Legal Pluralism in the Liberal State: A Defence of the Archbishop of Canterbury or a Human Rights Impasse?", 2010  Law and Justice 165, pp.124-143

 Closing the Legitimacy Gap on the Journey towards a Universality of Human Rights’, Institute of Advanced Studies  in Simon Bennett and Éadaoin O'Brien (eds), What Future for Human Rights in a non-Western World? (London: Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 2012), pp. xx-xx (due 2012)
‘The French prohibition on veiling in public places: Rights evolution or violation?’ Oxford Journal of Law and Religion  (due 2012/13)
Study areas
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Legal and Political Philosophy
SupervisorJoint Supervision: Dr Tom Cornford and Professor Sheldon Leader
Thesis titleFreedom to Choose: an argument for limiting parent’s control over their children’s religious education

Article 18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees a human right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 18(4) of the same right grants a right to parents to ensure that the religious or moral education of their child is in conformity with their convictions. In mainstream public education this may allow for parental opt-outs from religious teaching or set constraints on the nature of religious teaching. However, it may equally allow for the parent to opt for faith schools with varying degrees of religiosity and also for parents to opt to home school their child for religious reasons. Those parents opting for the latter are likely to be those who embrace the religion very seriously, even to the point of fanaticism. Yet article 18(4) gives them the human right to isolate their child form mainstream exposure and ensure an education for their child that conforms to the requirements of their religion as they see them. What this means is that at its extreme, this right can grant to the parent the right to heavily determine the construction (or not) of their child’s religious (or moral) views in a way that, should the State attempt the same, would be considered indoctrination and a violation of the right to freedom of religion and belief of the child. Should this be the case? If not, is there sufficient law to support intervention? The thesis considers these questions.

Presentation of my Doctoral Research at the Law and Religion Scholars Network, Cardiff Law School, 17.05.2011
Presentation of a paper on legitimacy issues relating to human rights law and universality, and participation in the “London Debates”, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 19.05.2011- 21.05.2011.
Presentation at the Workshop, 'Subjects Before the Law: Membership, Recognition and the Religious Dimensions of Women's Citizenship.', Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights and the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century, University College Cork, Ireland, 9 September 2010, paper entitled ‘Inclusive citizenship and the religious woman: An illegitimate question or a question of legitimacy?’
Presentation on human rights, gender and religion at the Human Rights Centre Doctoral Affiliates Program, 27 May 2009.
Presentation at the Law and Religion Scholars Network 2nd Conference, Cardiff University, 5th May 2009. Paper entitled “Legal pluralism and Human Rights: A Defence of the Archbishop of Canterbury”.
Presentation at the 10th Annual Student Human Rights Conference, Nottingham University, 14th March 2009. Paper entitled “Should a civil or criminal offence of ‘defamation of religion’ be supported by the international community and introduced into national laws as a legitimate limitation on freedom of expression intended to protect freedom of religion?”
Additional information

Consultant for the Commonwealth Secretariat, tasked with updating and extending the scope of the ‘Handbook on Ratification of Human Rights Instruments’, Commonwealth Secretariat, (2006)   2010
Primary researcher for the ‘Atlas of Human Rights’, A. Fagan, (2010), Berkeley, University of California Press, 2009

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