Dr Sabina Garahan

Essex Law School
Dr Sabina Garahan



Dr Sabina Garahan is a Lecturer in Criminal Law at Essex Law School and Co-Director of the Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit. 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 provides expert advice and opinion to the OSCE/ODIHR on a range of rule of law and human rights issues. Her criminal justice expertise includes the death penalty, fair trial rights, and racial discrimination in justice systems. Her work on human rights, gender and security has addressed the risks faced by women peacebuilders, violence against women and girls during emergencies, and institutional police cultures and accountability. She has advised on the international humanitarian law implications of a range of situations in past and ongoing armed conflicts. As an expert consultant, Sabina has delivered legal and policy reform recommendations on criminal justice and equality standards to key stakeholders, including government representatives, judicial bodies and civil society organisations. Sabina has also consulted for NGOs including Penal Reform International and the Equal Rights Trust on matters relating to prisoners’ rights and equality and non-discrimination frameworks. She has conducted research on various aspects of the right to health for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and Just Fair, including mental health provision and inequality of access to services. Sabina is a former Employment Caseworker at the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain and Community Legal Adviser at Community Links. She has volunteered for organisations including Reprieve and the Free Representation Unit, and is a former member of the Death Penalty Sentencing Mitigation Unit. 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 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

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Criminal Law (LW104)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

  • Contract Law (LW101)


Journal articles (7)

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 (7)

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., 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., SLSA - Prisoner Rights - Time for a Rethink (2023)

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



5S.6.31, Colchester Campus