Universiteit Leiden

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Helen Duffy

Professor International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Prof.dr. H. Duffy
+31 70 800 9300

Helen Duffy is an experienced praticing international lawyer and has been Professor of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Grotius Centre since January 2015.

More information about Helen Duffy

Curriculum vitae

Helen Duffy is a Professor of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Grotius Centre (0.5 FTE). Her research areas includes strategic human rights litigation, counter-terrorism, climate justice, human rights in armed conflict (interplay of human rights and humanitarian law), judicial independence and non-state actors. 

Professor Duffy currently teaches International Protection of Human Rights on the Advanced Masters Public International Law and the Advanced Masters in European and International Human Rights programmes. As of 2023 she co-teaches a course on Mobilisation and Strategic Litigation in the latter programme. She supervises PHD candidates on Climate Change and Human Rights Litigation (Lianne Baars), Ecocide (Lisa Oldring) and Individual Criminal Responsibility and the Common Purpose Mode of Liability (Shadi Sadr).

Alongside her academic work, Professor Duffy is an experienced international human rights lawyer. She currently runs an international legal practice ‘Human Rights in Practice’ specializing in international legal advice and strategic litigation before regional and international human rights courts and bodies (www.rightsinpractice.org). Previous posts include as Legal Director of INTERIGHTS, Counsel to Human Rights Watch/New York, Legal Director of the Centre for Human Rights Legal Action (Guatemala), Legal Officer Prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Legal Adviser to the UK ‘Arms for Iraq’ Inquiry and Legal Officer in the UK government legal service.  

Helen is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow (LLB), University College London (LLM), Edinburgh (Dip.LP) and Leiden (PhD). She serves on the advisory boards of several NGOs. She is Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow, and teaches courses at the University of Melbourne (terrorism and human rights), American University (international justice) and Oxford University (climate justice). Her publications on international law and practice are listed below. They include ‘The War on Terror and the Framework of International law (CUP, 2nd ed. 2015), Strategic Human Rights Litigation: Understanding and Maximising Impact (Hart, 2018) and Law Applicable to Armed Conflict, with Bohrer and Dill (CUP 2020).

Professor International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Publiekrecht
  • Grotius Centre for Intern Legal Studies

Work address

Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Room number 4.44




  • university oxford external teacher
  • turkey litigation support project supervising director
  • International Centre Counter-Terrorism Editorial Board
  • University of Melbourne Visiting (external) Professor
  • American University Adjunct Visiting Professor
  • University of Glasgow Honorary Professor
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