Dr Aoife Duffy

Senior Lecturer
Essex Law School
Dr Aoife Duffy
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872562

  • Location

    5S.6.14, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Thursdays 12:00 - 14:00



Dr. Aoife Duffy is an interdisciplinary human rights scholar affiliated with University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre/School of Law. Prior to this posting, she held lectureships at the National University of Ireland Galway and Dublin City University. Aoife has been the recipient of various awards and grants, including the prestigious Department of Foreign Affairs Andrew Grene scholarship in conflict resolution for her doctoral studies. With a broad horizon of research interests, Aoife has published on topics ranging from indigenous peoples’ rights to states of emergency in such journals as Human Rights Quarterly, the International Journal of Refugee Law, and the International Journal of Transitional Justice. Her transitional justice scholarship examining major paradigm shifts has led to new historiographies shedding light on legacy issues in various case studies. Several of these have been published, including the ground-breaking monograph - Torture and Human Rights in Northern Ireland: Interrogation in Depth. In tandem with legal histories, she has accumulated expertise on intelligence/security operations, detention without trial, interrogation, and torture. Aoife’s interdisciplinary scholarship has evolved into other areas: producing original work on the interplay between photography/visual framing and international law, developing a conceptual framework on universality and rights recognition, and an output on reproductive autonomy. Adding to the canon of critical pedagogy, her latest journal article devises a fresh approach to human rights education by drawing on multiple disciplines. Current projects focus on the modalities through which the past is understood in the present; accessed through oral histories, official and non-official archives, legal documents, historic testimonies, memoires, and contemporary understandings of the past. A particular sensitivity is given to excavating subaltern or marginalised narratives that might otherwise be lost from the socio-historical record. Aoife's academic research and activism is animated by social justice goals - in particular, the achievement of substantive equality and the elimination of discrimination in society. In order to address structural injustice, systemic marginalisation and exclusion, human rights practice and scholarship is strengthened by different disciplinary perspectives. In that regard, she would welcome human rights PhD supervision in a cross disciplinary arrangement. In 2022, Aoife was invited to participate in the International Expert Panel: State Impunity and the Northern Ireland Conflict (due to report in 2023). She has also acted in an advisory/consultative capacity for various stakeholders on legacy issues stemming from the Northern Ireland conflict.


  • PhD International Human Rights Law National University of Ireland Galway,

  • LLM International Human Rights Law National University of Ireland Galway,

  • M.Phil International Peace Studies Trinity College Dublin,

  • BA (Hons) Applied Psychology University College Cork,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Interdisciplinary Human Rights Scholarship

Open to supervise

Current research

Critical approaches to human rights and international law


Consent in International Human Rights Law

Torture, Detention & Security Operations

Tackling Marginalisation/Discrimination & Exclusion. Social Justice & Social Change

Conferences and presentations

State Torture during the Northern Ireland Conflict

Humanitarianism and Human Rights in Irish History, 5/7/2023

Pushing Human Rights Education Beyond the Law

Future of Human Rights Education conference, Human Rights Centre, Colchester, United Kingdom, 10/12/2020

Interrogation in Depth

Invited presentation, Transitional Justice Seminar Series, University of Ulster, 10/12/2019

Torture and Human Rights in Northern Ireland

Invited presentation, Symposium on the First Decade of the Troubles, University of Salford, 19/6/2019

Exploring the Dissonance between Human Rights Utopia and Reality

Law and Society Association, Law and Society Association, Toronto, Canada, 9/6/2018

Bearing Witness to Atrocity Crimes: Photography & International Law, Whitaker Institute Seminar Series, 14 December 2016.


Memories of Violence in Law, Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security Research Symposium, NUIG, 4 May 2016.


Beyond the Law: Counter-Terror Interrogation, Violent Contexts: Ireland and the Wider World, University College Cork, 1 April 2016.

Cork, Ireland, 2016

Ireland v United Kingdom,Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Seattle 28-31 May, 2015.

Seattle, United States, 2015

Gardens of (In)Justice: Detention without Trial in the British Empire, Critical Legal Conference, Stockholm, 14-16 September, 2012.

Stockholm, Sweden, 2012

Deciphering the Nomos of the Camp, International Studies Association, Montreal, March 2011.

Montreal, Canada, 2011

UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security: Incorporating a Gender Perspective, Liberia Timor-Leste Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs Rapporteur on Transitional Justice, Monrovia, Liberia, 13-16 April, 2010.

Monrovia, Liberia, 2010

Human Rights and Conflict in Darfur, War, Virtual War and Human Security Conference, Budapest, May 2008.

Budapest, Hungary, 2008

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Human Rights & Social Justice: Structures, Theory and Practice (HU200)

  • Selected Issues in Human Rights (HU300)

  • Human Rights, Social Justice and Social Change (HU928)

  • Law and Literature (LT394)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

  • Transitional Justice (LW927)

Previous supervision

Carla Patricia Forneira Prado
Carla Patricia Forneira Prado
Degree subject: Occasional Study: Law (Research)
Degree type: Occasional Postgraduate Study
Awarded date: 13/1/2019


Journal articles (9)

Duffy, A., Universality: recognizing the right to have rights. Intercultural Human Rights Law Review. 18, 77-110

Duffy, A., (2023). An Emancipatory Pedagogy for Human Rights Education

Duffy, A., (2018). Bearing Witness to Atrocity Crimes: Photography & International Law. Human Rights Quarterly. 40 (4), 776-814

Duffy, A., (2016). Searching for Accountability: British-Controlled Detention in Southeast Iraq, 2003–2008. International Journal of Transitional Justice. 10 (3), 410-431

Duffy, A., (2015). Legacies of British Colonial Violence: Viewing Kenyan Detention Camps through the Hanslope Disclosure. Law and History Review. 33 (03), 489-542

Duffy, AM., (2012). Detainee as Exile: Theorising the Politico-legal Underpinnings of Executive Detention. Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law. 7 (1), 1-17

Duffy, A., (2010). A Truth Commission for Northern Ireland?. International Journal of Transitional Justice. 4 (1), 26-46

Duffy, A., (2008). Expulsion to Face Torture? Non-refoulement in International Law. International Journal of Refugee Law. 20 (3), 373-390

Duffy, A., (2008). Indigenous Peoples' Land Rights: Developing a Sui Generis Approach to Ownership and Restitution. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights. 15 (4), 505-538

Books (1)

Duffy, A., (2019). Torture and Human Rights in Northern Ireland Interrogation in Depth. Routledge. 0367030454. 9780367030452

Book chapters (3)

Duffy, A., (2023). The Right to Withdraw Consent to Continuing an Unwanted Pregnancy. In: Consent: Gender, Power and Subjectivity. Routledge. 139- 152

Duffy, AM., (2017). Recuperación de la verdad tras los conflictos en Irlanda del Norte?. In: Historia y Actualidad. Editors: Jimeno, R., . Thomson Reuters Aranzadi

Duffy, AM., (2015). Expulsion to face torture? Non-refoulement in international law. In: Refugees and Rights. Editors: Crock, M., . Routledge. 109- 126. 1472455797. 9781472455796

Conferences (2)

Duffy, A., Applying Critical Pedagogies to Human Rights Education

Duffy, A., Torture & the International Perspective

Other (1)

Duffy, A. and Al Khateeb, K., Conflicting Narratives Post-Conflict: The Agree to Disagree

Grants and funding


Agree to Disagree? Responding to Intolerant Narratives in Initiatives for Transformative Justice

University of Essex (ESRC IAA)

+44 (0) 1206 872562


5S.6.14, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Thursdays 12:00 - 14:00