Clearing 2021
Human Rights Centre

Health, Human Rights, and Social Justice

Dejected doctor, wearing blue scrubs and face mask, hanging his head

The Health, Human Rights and Social Justice Research Cluster brings together our leading team of academic experts who are members of the Human Rights Centre from Schools of Health and Social Care; Law; Philosophy and Art History; and Sociology.

Approaching health from the perspective of human rights and social justice, our interdisciplinary research and practice embrace themes including health data and technology; COVID-19; global health and human rights governance; health inequalities and intersectionality; gender-based violence; social determinants of health; privatisation in the health sector; mental health; sexual and reproductive health; drug policy; non-communicable diseases; and medical ethics.

Our members are national and international leaders in their field, regularly called on to advise international organisations including the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies; governments; local authorities; healthcare institutions; national human rights institutions; and civil society organisations and activists. Through our research and public engagements, we work with a commitment to improving human rights in public health governance internationally, nationally and locally.

If you're interested in postgraduate research surrounding health, human rights, and social justice, there are supervision opportunities within the Human Rights Centre.

Our research

The Cluster brings together colleagues including those working on several health-related Human Rights Centre projects. See below for more information on these projects. Our members also work closely with the Human Rights Centre Clinic, which conducts key research to protect human rights globally, and runs projects that enable students to apply their human rights knowledge to practical situations and further develop their professional skills.

Postgraduate research education

There are a number of ways to look for research degree opportunities.

  • To find a supervisor, you can browse our members' staff profiles. If they're open to supervision, they'll display the topics which they are open to supervising on. You can contact members directly to discuss research supervision.
  • You can also search for research opportunities via our research finder tool. Simply enter your topic of interest, and you'll see any related research funding opportunities, supervision opportunities, and insights into related research at Essex.
  • Essex is a member of The Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) which provides funding and training opportunities to students.
  • For general PhD enquiries, please contact Co-Director of Postgraduate Education, Dr Stephen Turner at

Undergraduate and Masters

Do you have a commitment to public health, human rights and social justice? At Essex, we have a range of related degrees and modules, and with our interdisciplinary approach to teaching, we are confident that we have the right course for you.

Visit our subject areas to find out more about the degrees and modules that Essex has to offer. If you're not sure which subject is right for you, or there's a particular course you're interested, you can always search for a course


Our members

Andrew Fagan
Director of the Human Rights Centre - Senior Lecturer (R), School of Law - Human Rights Centre
Judith Bueno De Mesquita
Lecturer, School of Law
Research interests: Health and human rights; Economic, social and cultural rights; Climate change; International development and human rights; Poverty and human rights
Karen Hulme
Professor, School of Law
Research interests: Laws of armed conflict; Environmental law; Human rights and the environment
Katya Al Khateeb
Senior Research Officer, School of Law
Stephen Turner
Senior Lecturer, School of Law
Caroline Bald
Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care
Postgraduate Research Student, School of Health and Social Care
Koldo Casla
Lecturer, School of Law
Research interests: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Critique of Human Rights; Spanish Politics; International Relations; UK Politics
Julie Hannah
Lecturer, School of Law
Noam Lubell
Professor, School of Law
Research interests: International Humanitarian Law / Law of Armed Conflict; Conduct of Hostilities; Military Occupation; New Military and Law Enforcement Technologies, including Cyber Operations, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Human Enhancement; The Use of Force by States; Self-Defence; the UN Collective Security Framework; Counter-Terrorism.
Wayne Martin
Professor, School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Philosophy of Psychiatry; Phenomenology (esp Hume, Husserl, Heidegger, Th Lipps, L&oslashgstrup); Kant and post-Kantian idealism (esp Fichte); The history and philosophy of logic; Philosophy and painting; Self-Consciousness; Autonomy and the Regulation of Care; Political Philosophy; Will, Agency and Contract
Sabine Michalowski
Professor, School of Law
Research interests: Medical Law; Business and human rights; Transitional Justice; Health Care Law and Human Rights
Nigel South
Professor, Department of Sociology
Research interests: environmental crime; green criminology and human rights; illegal and legal drug use and markets; crime, inequalities and citizenship; theoretical and comparative criminology; public health and community services
Maurice Sunkin
Professor, School of Law
Tara Van Ho
Lecturer, School of Law
Research interests: Business and human rights; International investment law and human rights; Economic, social and cultural rights; Transitional justice; International human rights law; Business and human rights in armed conflict
Lars Waldorf
Professor, School of Law
Research interests: Transitional justice; Peacebuilding; Legal empowerment; Right to information; Human rights and the arts; International human rights law; International criminal law; Disability rights; Responsibility to protect
Nikhil Gokani
Lecturer, School of Law
Research interests: Public Health Law; Consumer Protection; Nutrition Labelling; Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention; Health Inequalities; Human Rights; Food, Tobacco, Alcohol, Physical Activity, Air Pollution
Laurie James-Hawkins
Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology
Research interests: Social Psychology; Medical Sociology; Reproductive Health; Women's Health; Marriage and Family; Social Norms; Men and Masculinity; Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
Anuj Kapilashrami
Professor, School of Health and Social Care
Susan Stallabrass
Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care
Postgraduate Research Student, Human Rights Centre
Ewen Speed
Professor, School of Health and Social Care
Research interests: Governance and citizenship in context of health and healthcare; Neoliberalism, the third sector and health care provision; Discourse analysis, interpretive policy analysis
Susan McPherson
Professor, School of Health and Social Care
Research interests: Therapy outcomes and effectiveness; Social care, fostering and adoption; Chronic depression: long term psychotherapy, management in primary care, informal caring; Psychiatric labelling; Social history and history of health and care
Fabian Freyenhagen
Professor, School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Theory, history and practice of autonomy; Frankfurt School (especially Adorno); Ethics (particularly Kants and Kantian ethics); Political Philosophy
Renos Papadopoulos
Professor, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Research interests: Involuntary dislocation (forced migration), trauma and refugees; Working with survivors of violence (torture) and disasters; Psychosocial humanitarian interventions; Psychosocial perspectives on Human Rights; The interface between Analytical Psychology and systems, family therapy, and culture; Epistemology of therapeutic endeavours; Academic and professional interface with Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Linsey McGoey
Professor, Department of Sociology
Research interests: Social theories of knowledge and ignorance; Economic sociology; Global health governance; Human rights-based approaches to health and development