Dr Sabina Garahan

Essex Law School
Dr Sabina Garahan



Dr Sabina Garahan is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Criminal Law at Essex Law School and Co-Director of the Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit at the Essex Human Rights Centre, which works on cases of alleged arbitrary detention brought before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Her research primarily concerns the rights of detained persons under international law. She completed her AHRC-funded doctoral research at the Essex Human Rights Centre, focusing on protections against arbitrary detention under European human rights law. Sabina consults regularly on international human rights law and policy in an expert capacity and is a member of the Fair Trials Legal Experts Advisory Panel. Sabina previously worked as a Judicial Assistant to former President Robert Spano at the European Court of Human Rights and as a Research Assistant at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. She is a former Editorial Board member at the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. Sabina has provided expert advice and opinion on a range of human rights and rule of law matters to organisations including the OSCE/ODIHR, Penal Reform International and the Equal Rights Trust. Her expertise covers the death penalty, fair trial rights, and racial discrimination in justice systems, as well as prisoners’ rights and equality and non-discrimination frameworks. As an expert consultant, Sabina has delivered legal and policy reform recommendations on human rights and equality standards to key stakeholders including representatives of governments, judiciaries and civil society. She has also volunteered for organisations including Reprieve and the Free Representation Unit, and is a former member of the Death Penalty Sentencing Mitigation Unit. Sabina holds an LLB in Law with French Law from University College London, graduating with a faculty prize, and a Certificat Supérieur de Droit Français et Européen from Panthéon-Assas University, Paris. She completed her LLM in International Human Rights Law at the Essex Human Rights Centre with Distinction, funded by a County of Essex Scholarship. She is a previous recipient of the iCourts/PluriCourts High-Level PhD Summer School Scholarship.


  • PhD Law University of Essex, (2023)

  • LLM International Human Rights Law University of Essex, (2016)

  • LLB Law with French Law University College London, (2014)

  • Certificat Supérieur de Droit Français et Européen Panthéon-Assas University, (2013)


University of Essex

  • Co-Director, Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit (4/9/2023 - present)

  • Year 1 Student Support and Progress Lead, Essex Law School (4/9/2023 - present)

Other academic

  • Lecturer, University of Essex (23/1/2023 - present)

  • Assistant Lecturer, University of Essex (8/10/2018 - present)

  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy (4/9/2019 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

International Human Rights Law

Key words: criminal justice, detainee rights, equality and non-discrimination, fair trial rights, immigration detention, regional human rights courts, right to liberty, treaty bodies
Open to supervise

European Human Rights Law

Key words: arbitrary detention, criminal justice, detention of minors, European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, fair trial rights, immigration detention, pre-trial detention, prisoner rights
Open to supervise

Prisoner Rights

Key words: criminal law, criminal justice, child detention, death penalty, pre-trial detention, prison conditions, right to health, torture prevention
Open to supervise

International Humanitarian Law

Key words: conflict-related risk factors in detention, detention in armed conflict, proportionality in attack, relationship with international human rights law, sexual and gender-based violence in detention
Open to supervise

Criminal Justice

Key words: equality and non-discrimination, fair trial rights, judicial independence, legal aid, pre-trial justice, prosecutorial independence, youth justice
Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Criminal Law (LW104)

  • Medical Law (LW232)

  • Law of Evidence (LW316)


Journal articles (8)

Garahan, S., (2024). Opening the door to arbitrary detention - uncontrolled detention powers under the Illegal Migration Act. Public Law. 2024 (Jan), 11-18

Turkut, E. and Garahan, S., (2020). The ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Test of Turkey’s Post-Coup Emergency Rule under the European Convention on Human Rights. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. 38 (4), 264-282

(2018). Ratzenböck and Seydl v Austria. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 7 (2), 362-363

(2018). Mme Asma X and another v Micropole univers. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 7 (2), 356-357

(2018). Hamidović v Bosnia and Herzegovina. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 7 (2), 355-356

Garahan, S., (2017). Association de défense des droits de l'homme – Collectif contre l'islamophobie en France. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 6 (1), 204-204

Garahan, S., (2016). A Right to Discriminate? Widening the Scope for Interference with Religious Rights inEbrahimian v France. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 5 (2), 352-358

Garahan, S., (2016). FG v Sweden. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 5 (3), 619-620

Book chapters (2)

Garahan, S., (2020). Legal Aid: Promoting Sustainable Development Through Greater Access to Justice. In: Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Editors: . Springer International Publishing. 1- 12. 9783319710662

Garahan, S., (2020). Unsentenced Detainees: Socioeconomic Burdens of Pre-trial Detention. In: Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Editors: . Springer International Publishing. 1- 11. 9783319710662

Conferences (10)

Garahan, S., OSCE/ODIHR - Gender, Diversity and Justice in South Eastern Europe (2020)

Garahan, S., European Society of International Law - Public Health in the Age of Globalisation: Questioning the Constraints of State Sovereignty, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (2019)

Garahan, S., British Institute of International and Comparative Law - Enhancing Access to Justice: What Can Ombudsman Schemes Offer? (2018)

Garahan, S., OSCE and Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Women Judges: Professional Exchange of Experience and International Co-operation, Astana, Kazakhstan (2024)

Garahan, S., Academy for European Human Rights Protection, University of Cologne - Writing and Publishing in the Law of the ECHR (2024)

Garahan, S., Socio-Legal Studies Association - Prisoner Rights - Time for a Rethink, University of Liverpool (2023)

Garahan, S., OSCE/ODIHR, UNODC and OHCHR - Eighth Expert Forum on Criminal Justice for Central Asia, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2021)

Garahan, S., OSCE/ODIHR - High-Level Webinar on the Independence of Prosecutors in Central Europe (2021)

Garahan, S., OSCE/ODIHR - Associations of Women Judges in Central Asia: Gender, Diversity and Justice (2021)

Garahan, S., LSA Annual Meeting - New Horizons in Criminal Law and Jurisprudence (2024)

Reports and Papers (3)

Gillett, M. and Garahan, S., (2023). Written Evidence by Dr Sabina Garahan and Dr Matthew Gillett (IMB0015) on UK Illegal Migration Bill

Garahan, S., (2021). Comparative Study on Women Judges’ Associations Across the OSCE Region

Beqiraj, J., Garahan, S. and Shuttleworth, K., (2018). Ombudsman Schemes and Effective Access to Justice: A Study of International Practices and Trends

Other (4)

Garahan, S., Hamidović v Bosnia and Herzegovina – Judging Skullcaps in the Courtroom,Open University, Project for Interdisciplinary Law and Religion Studies (PILARS)

Garahan, S., (2021).False Equivalences in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict – International Humanitarian and Criminal Law Perspectives,OpinioJuris

Garahan, S., (2019).Emerging Voices: Reasonableness at the European Court of Human Rights,Opinio Juris

Garahan, S. and Olatokun, M., (2018).Human Rights Education - What is it and Why is it Important?,The British Institute of Human Rights

Grants and funding


Human Rights Fact-finding: determining the misuse of arbitrary detention against migrants and environmental defenders

University of Essex (QR Impact Fund)



5S.6.31, Colchester Campus