Human Rights Law Centre

Unit Publications


The members of the Human Rights Law Centre's Operational Units continue to produce research in their areas of expertise, including human rights in conflict and post-conflict situations, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the International Criminal Court. 

Below you can explore a list of each Unit's publications arranged in chronological order, as well as other key HRLC publications. For work published as part of a conference, workshop or training event, please see the Conference Publications and Training Materials page.

Business, Trade and Human Rights Unit

James Harrison, The Human Rights Impact of the World Trade Organisation (Hart, 2007)

This work examines the human rights impact of international trade rules, and explains why human rights are an important mechanism for assessing the social justice impact of the international trading system. Harrison argues that the ad hoc mechanisms applied by international trade law rules to deal with particularly pressing human rights concern do not provide systemic solutions.

He goes on to examine mechanisms by which human rights arguments can be more appropriately adjudicated in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, and concludes by considering broader systemic issues that need to be addressed if trade law rules are to successfully protect and promote human rights.

James Harrison and Alessa Goller 'Trade and Human Rights: What Does 'Impact Assessment' Have to Offer?' (2008) 8 Human Rights Law Review 587

This article examines key issues associated with conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of international trade agreements. Limited attempts have so far been made to explore important issues concerning the design and intrinsic value of HRIAs. This article poses some key questions on the development of appropriate methodologies and explores the extent to which these issues can best be resolved.

It considers lessons from existing practice in the field including social impact assessments of trade agreements and the limited number of HRIAs so far conducted. As a result of this analysis some conclusions are drawn about the value and limitations of HRIAs of trade agreements, and the extent to which we can expect them to enhance the debate on human rights law and trade law inter-linkages in the future. 

European Human Rights Law Unit

D. J. Harris, M. O'Boyle, E. Bates and C. Buckley, Harris, O'Boyle and Warbrick Law of the European Convention on Human Rights, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2009)

This second edition builds on the great strengths of the first and represents an indispensable text for all undergraduates, postgraduates and practitioners. An up-to-date and comprehensive account of Strasbourg case law and its underlying principles, this book facilitates an in-depth understanding of this fascinating area of law. It fully explores the extent of the Convention's influence upon the legal development of the contracting states, and reveals exactly how such a powerful authority has been achieved and maintained.

It sets out and critically analyses each Convention article that constitutes the substantive guarantee, and examines the system of supervision. It also contains a thorough account of the organisation and functioning of the European Court of Human Rights and the procedure for taking a case to Strasbourg.

D. J. Harris, 'Collective Complaints under the European Social Charter: Encouraging Progress?' in K.H. Kaikobad and M. Bohlander (eds.), International Law and Power: Perspectives on Legal Order and Justice, (2009 Koninklijke Brill NV) 3-24

Read this article

Tamara Hervey and Jeff Kenner (eds.), Economic and Social Rights Under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: A Legal Perspective (Hart, 2003)

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union includes, in addition to the traditional civil and political rights, a large number of rights of an economic or social nature. This collection of essays by leading scholars in this field considers the significance of the inclusion of such rights within the EU Charter, in terms of protection of individual and collective social and economic interests within and between the EU and its Member States. 


David Harris, European Social Charter, 2nd ed. (Procedural Aspects of International Law Book Series, 2001)

This thoroughly revised edition of a standard work on the European Social Charter of 1961 describes and analyses the amended Charter of 1996 and the Optional Protocol of 1995. Detailed attention is paid to the jurisprudence of the independent Committee of Experts under those revised instruments. It also takes into account the substantial changes in the operation of the supervisory mechanism which have made the mechanism much more effective. The author's commentary proceeds in the broader context of international social and economic rights as expressed in the European Convention on Human Rights, European Union social law and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

R. Burchill, D. Harris and A. Owers (eds.), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: their Implications in UK law (University of Nottingham, Human Rights Law Centre, in association with Justice, 1999)

This volume brings together a number of papers originally presented at a seminar held in London in March 1998, entitled ‘Enforcing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’. It brought together academics, practising lawyers and NGOs to discuss how socio-economic rights standards can be brought from the margins into the mainstream and be more effectively implemented in the UK.

Reports and Studies on Legal Issues, Promotion and Protection of Fundamental Rights in the EU (FRALEX)

  • Thematic Legal Study on the Impact of the Race Equality Directive, United Kingdom, prepared by Mary Coussey with the assistance of Laura Graham (Nottingham, April 2009)
  • Flash Report for the United Kingdom, prepared by David Harris and Caroline Przybylla (Nottingham, October 2008)
  • Thematic Legal Study on National Human Rights Institutions and Human Rights Organisations, United Kingdom, prepared by David Harris and Colm O'Cinneide with the assistance of Amrei Mueller (Nottingham, September 2008).  Read the executive summary. Read the full report.  
  • Thematic Study on Child Trafficking, report on the United Kingdom, prepared by David Harris, Ralph Sandland and Margaret Akullo with the assistance of Caroline Przybylla (Nottingham, September 2008)
  • Thematic Legal Study on Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation, report on the United Kingdom, prepared by David Harris, Therese Murphy, Jeffrey Kenner and Toni Johnson with the assistance of Caroline Przybylla (Nottingham, February 2008). Read the executive summary. Read the full report.
  • Thematic Legal Study on Assessment of Data Protection Measures and Relevant Institutions, report on the United Kingdom, prepared by Douwe Korff (Nottingham, February 2009).  Read the executive summary. Read the full report.
  • Thematic Legal Study on Assessment of Access to Justice in Civil Cases in the European Union - The United Kingdom, prepared by Tim Barrow and Bernard Ryan (Nottingham, October 2009). Read the executive summary. Read the full report.
  • Flash Report:  Update to the Legal Study on Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation - The United Kingdom, prepared by David Harris, Therese Murphy, Jeffrey Kenner and Toni Johnson (Nottingham, February 2010). Read the executive summary. Read the full report.

You can download the reports on the FRALEX website. The Human Rights Law Centre is part of the FRALEX network. The reports are published as part of the Centre's FRALEX project


International Criminal Justice Unit

  • Morten Bergsmo, Olympia Bekou and Annika Jones, 'New Technologies in Criminal Justice for International Core Crimes: The ICC Legal Tools Project', (2010) 10:4 Human Rights Law Review 715-729
  • Olympia Bekou, 'Rule 11bis: An examination of the process of Referrals to National Courts through ICTY jurisprudence', (2010) 33 Fordham International Law Journal 723-791
  • Olympia Bekou, 'In the Hands of the State: Towards an Effective Complementarity Regime', in C. Stahn, M. El Zeidy (eds), The International Criminal Court and Complementarity, from Theory to Practice, CUP, (2010)
  • Olympia Bekou, 'From 'Confrontation' to "Two-way Cooperation": Referrals of Cases from the ICTY to National Courts through Rule 11bis', Serbian Yearbook of International Law, (translated into Serbian), (forthcoming)
  • Olympia Bekou and Mark Chadwick, 'Facilitating EU Commitment to the International Criminal Court: The Role of the ICC Legal Tools Project', in J. Wetzel (ed) The EU as a 'Global Player' in Human Rights?, Routledge (2010)
  • Morten Bergsmo, Olympia Bekou and Annika Jones, 'Complementarity After Kampala: Capacity Building and the ICC Legal Tools' (2010) 2 Goettingen Journal of International Law 791-811
  • Olympia Bekou, 'A Case for Review of Article 88 ICC Statute: Strengthening a Forgotten Provision', (2009) 12 (3)-(4) New Criminal Law Review 468-484
  • Olympia Bekou, 'Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanga Dyilo - Decision on the Confirmation of Charges' (2008) 8 Human Rights Law Review 343-355
  • Olympia Bekou and Antonis Antoniadis, 'The EU and the International Criminal Court: An Uneasy Symbiosis in Interesting Times' (2007) 7 International Criminal Law Review 621-655
  • Olympia Bekou and Robert Cryer, 'The ICC and Universal Jurisdiction: A Close Encounter?' (2007) 56 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 49-68
  • Olympia Bekou and Robert Cryer, 'The Core Crimes and ICC Cooperation in England and Wales' (2007) 5 Journal of International Criminal Justice 441-449
  • Olympia Bekou, 'Regionalising ICC Implementing Legislation: A Viable Solution for the Asia- Pacific Region?' in Neil Boister and Alberto Costi (eds), Droit Pénal International dans le Pacifique: Tentatives d’Harmonisation Régionale/Regionalising International Criminal Law in the Pacific (New Zealand Association for Comparative Law/Association de Législation Comparée des Pays du Pacifique, Wellington, 2006), 117-144
  • Olympia Bekou, S. Shah, 'Realising the Potential of the International Criminal Court: the African Experience' (2006) 6 Human Rights Law Review 499-544
  • Olympia Bekou, 'Pre-trial Procedures before the International Criminal Court', (2006), available at:
  • Olympia Bekou, 'Complementarity and the ICC: A dangerous Gamble?' (2005) Occasional Papers EIUC Proceedings, 61-81
  • Olympia Bekou and Robert Cryer (eds.), The International Criminal Court (Ashgate, 2004)

The creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998 represented an important step in the international effort to repress genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This volume collects the foremost analyses of each part of the ICC to form a convenient reference tool for all those wishing to understand perhaps the most important legal development of the past two decades. This reader was produced as part of a training course run by the HRLC on the ICC in 2003.

  • Olympia Bekou, 'The Inter-relationship between International Criminal Law and Domestic Jurisdictions', 5(1) Human Rights Law Review (2001), pp. 3-8
  • Olympia Bekou, 'The Complementarity Regime' of the ICC' (2001), posted on the website of the German Council of Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Olympia Bekou, 'The Principle of Complementarity; A Response to the Pakistani Position' (2000), Asian Network for the International Criminal Court Bulletin  

United Nations and Capacity Building Unit

Prof. M. O'Flaherty and Dr. George Ulrich, The Professional Identity of the Human Rights Field Officer (Ashgate, 2010)

This volume constitutes a substantial contribution to the elaboration of the parameters of the professional identity of the human rights field officer. It comprises the second of two volumes on the topic of human rights field work, the first being The Human Rights Field Operation: Law, Theory and Practice (see below). The second volume builds on the first's material to construct normative and prescriptive frameworks for field work: there is a shift from critical analysis to the construction and justification of professional guidance.

Also, the focus moves from the general situation of the work of organisations to the specific responsibilities of the individual human rights officer. This approach allows the book to concentrate on issues of professionalism and to have relevance beyond the confines of the United Nations or any other specific organisation. The applied approach of many of the chapters expands the analysis in the case studies section of the first volume, allowing for a more up to date and global review of practice.

This book is unique. No such effort has been undertaken before with regard to the work of the individual human rights field officer. It is intended to make a significant contribution to the construction of a new profession.

Michael O'Flaherty, 'Human Rights and the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina', in G. Alfredsson, J. Grimheden, B.G. Ramcharan and A. de Zayas (eds.), International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms, 2nd ed. (Brill, 2009)

This revised and updated collection is intended to serve as a thematic textbook on the institutions and procedures devoted to the national implementation of human rights and to the international monitoring of State performance. It covers most of the monitoring instances at intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations: complaints, fact-finding and investigative procedures, State reporting obligations, good offices actions, dialogue functions, human rights education, dissemination of human rights information, letter campaigns, and technical co-operation.


Michael O'Flaherty, (ed.) The Human Rights Field Operation: Law, Theory and Practice (Ashgate, 2007)

This volume assesses the development of human rights field operations of the United Nations and other intergovernmental organisations. It makes a substantial contribution to the debate and understanding with regard to the sector's underlying doctrine. The book, unprecedented in its scope, addresses the range of aspects of the nature, role and activities of field operations.

It draws together the reflections of academics, policy makers and field practitioners. Its analysis is located within the context of applicable normative and ethical frameworks, assessment of former and current practice and examination of complementary and analogous experiences. The book will be an essential resource for all those actively involved in human rights field work as well as for policy makers and academics and students involved in human rights research. 

The volume includes the following contributions:

  • Michael O'Flaherty, 'Human Rights Field Operations: An Introductory Analysis'
  • Michael O'Flaherty, 'The Human Rights Field Operation in Partnership for Humanitarian Relief and Reconstruction'
  • Michael O'Flaherty, 'Case Study: The United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Sierra Leone'

Nigel White and Dirk Klaasen (eds.), The UN, Human Rights and Post-Conflict Situations (Manchester University Press, 2005)

The United Nations is one of the largest providers of assistance in post-conflict situations in the world. This book considers the human rights standards applicable to the United Nations and applied by the United Nations in post-conflict situations, including East Timor, Kosovo and Afghanistan. It looks at legal principles, peace agreements, support of democracy, human rights protection, development and other forms of reconstruction with which the UN has become involved, including the task of "state-building". It deals both with the obligation upon the UN to respect human rights in post-conflict situations, and the obligation upon the UN to ensure that human rights are respected by those in positions of power in post-conflict situations.

Written by an internationally renowned list of contributors, this book will be of vital use to anyone studying conflict analysis, international relations, international law and the role of the United Nations on the world stage.

This collection grew out of a two-year HRLC project entitled United Nations and Human Rights in Post-Conflict Situations


Other HRLC Publications

Peter Bartlett, 'Thinking about the Rest of the World: Mental Health and Rights Outside the 'First World'', in B. McSherry, P. Weller (eds.) Re-Thinking Rights-Based Mental Health Law, Hart, 2010

Peter Bartlett and Vanja Hamzic, Reforming Mental Disability Law in Africa: Practical Tips and Suggestions, August 2010

This report constitutes a major output of the project Designing Mental Health Law in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Lesotho which was directed by Professor Peter Bartlett, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Professor of Mental Health. The report provides examples of best practice, suggestions for future legislative reform initiatives and the direction of legislation and policy regarding service provision for people with mental disabilities.

Download the report

Terrorism Country Profiles (2006-2009)

These were created as part of a project to map key states’ anti-terrorism laws and capacities and ratification of international anti-terrorism and human rights instruments. Please select a country below to view its profile. 


Toolkit on Detention Monitoring and Human Rights Mechanisms (June 2008)

The Toolkit was designed to assist non-governmental organisations, human rights groups, advocates and practitioners who work with and for individuals and groups in detention. It was designed to aid them in their efforts to secure the release of, or better conditions for, those detained, through access to UN and other human rights mechanisms. Download the toolkit. Read the full project summary on our projects page.

  • Daniel Moeckli, Human Rights and Non-discrimination in the 'War on Terror' (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Michael O'Flaherty, Rapporteur, Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, published on 26 March 2007, available at:
  • Sangeeta Shah, 'Seeking Remedies for Violations of International Humanitarian Law: Markovic v Italy' (2007) 7 Human Rights Law Review 412
  • Sangeeta Shah, 'International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance: Introductory Note' (2007) 14 International Human Rights Reports 582
  • Daniel Moeckli (2006), Terrorist Profiling and the Importance of a Proactive Approach to Human Rights Protection, Social Science Research Network

Frances Nicholson and Patrick Twomey (eds.), Refugee Rights and Realities: Evolving International Concepts and Regimes (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

This volume on international refugee law and policy assesses the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and the often contrasting reality of state practice. It brings together contributions from seventeen experts, drawn from a variety of professions and disciplines, including lawyers, NGO advisors and political scientists.

Frances Nicholson and Patrick Twomey (eds.), Current Issues of UK Asylum Law and Policy (Ashgate, 1998)

This title brings together 18 essays by a selection of experts in the area of refugee and asylum law and policy. Each essay examines an issue of contemporary interest to those working in the refugee field in the UK.



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