Human Rights Law Centre

Economic and Social Rights Unit

Our economic and social rights unit undertakes research, teaching, training and consultancy work on economic and social rights, which are becoming ever more prominent in human rights law scholarship and practice around the globe.

The economic and social rights (ESR) expertise within the University of Nottingham School of Law, HRLC encompasses a wide range of issues, such as international, regional and domestic human rights law, health, disability, children's rights, housing and social welfare, and public finance.

As such, this unit is exceptionally well-placed to take a leading position with regard to ESR research. Reflecting the key themes in contemporary ESR scholarship, the Unit focuses on interdisciplinary work and seeks to engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including:

  • governments and other state actors
  • practitioners
  • advocates
  • national human rights institutions
  • human rights scholars
  • both inter- and non-governmental organisations

Unit Head, Professor Aoife Nolan, has worked with, and acted as an expert advisor to, a wide range of international and national organisations and bodies working on human rights issues. These include the Council of Europe, ESCR-Net, the Right to Education Project, UNICEF UK and the Children's Commissioner for England.

She has also been invited to provide input into the work of the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Adequate Housing, Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation respectively, and has provided support to the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights in relation to budgets and human rights.


Unit Head

Professor Aoife Nolan, Professor of International Human Rights Law, who body of work includes extensive publications in relation to children's rights and economic and social rights, as well as on constitutional law.

Unit members

  • Professor Peter Bartlett, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust Professor of Mental Health Law
  • Professor Jeff Kenner, Professor of European Law
  • Professor Annamaria La Chimia, Professor in Law
  • Dr Nell Munro, Assistant Professor in Law
  • Sangeeta Shah, Professor in Law
  • Anita Udoh, PhD candidate
  • Zinhle Koza, PhD candidate
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News from the Economic and Social Rights Unit's former interns and PhD students around the world.

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Training materials

A key resource for those seeking to improve the implementation of economic and social rights.



Unit members are involved in an array of ESR-related activities domestically and internationally. These include our featured project, Advancing Child Rights Strategic Litigation, which focuses on Litigation which seeks to bring about positive legal and social change in terms of children’s enjoyment of their rights.

Advancing Child Rights Strategic Litigation

Led by Professor Aoife Nolan, the three-year project will deepen practice and research collaboration synergies between academic and advocacy partners in the area of child rights strategic litigation.

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Publications, news and events

As one of the six research units within the HRLC, you can find all our unit publications, news and events on the publications, news and events pages.



Human Rights Law Centre

School of Law
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 8506