Professor International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Helen Duffy has been a staff member of the Grotius Centre since January 2015 when she was appointed as Professor of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.
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 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).
- Duffy H. (2022), Abu Zubaydah: contesting Guantánamo through human rights litigation. In: West A. & Erhan. A. (Eds.) Rupture and reckoning: Guantánamo turns 20. Reflecting on the legacy of the notorious detention camp and US counter-terrorism policy two decades after 9/11.. Berlin: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). 63-66.
- Duffy H. (5 August 2021), Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and Human Rights Practice. EJIL: Talk!: European Journal of International Law [blog entry].
- Duffy H. (2 February 2021), Georgia v. Russia: Jurisdiction, Chaos and Conflict at the European Court of Human Rights. Just Security [blog entry].
- Duffy H., annotation: Committee on the Rights of the Child 4 February 2021, no. 77/2019, Leiden Children's Rights Observatory Case Notes 2021: (Case Note 2021/3 Communications No. 79/2019 and 109/2019 L.H. et al v. France and 77/2019 F.B. et al v. France; French Children in Syrian Camps: the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Jurisdictional Quagmire).
- Duffy H. (2021), Global Threats and Fragmented Responses: Climate Change and the Extra-Territorial Scope of Human Rights Obligations. In: Blokker N.M., Dam-de Jong D. & Prislan V. (Eds.) Furthering the Frontiers of International Law: Sovereignty, Human Rights, Sustainable Development. Liber Amicorum Nico Schrijver. Leiden: Brill | Nijhoff. 62-92.
- Duffy H. & Herik L.J. van den (2021), Terrorism and the Security Council. In: Geiß R. & Melzer R. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 193-212.
- Duffy H. & Maxwell L. (13 November 2020), People v Arctic Oil before Supreme Court of Norway: What’s at stake for human rights protection in the climate crisis?. EJIL: Talk!: European Journal of International Law [blog entry].
- Duffy H. (2020), Dignity Denied: a Case Study. In: Paulussen C., Scheien M. (Eds.) Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism. The Hague: Springer-T.M.C. Asser Press. 67-96.
- Duffy H. (2020), International Human Rights Law and Terrorism: an overview. In: Saul, B. (Ed.) Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism [2nd edition]. Research handbooks in international law Cheltenham: Elgar. 314-335.
- Bohrer Z., Dill J. & Duffy H. (2020), Law Applicable to Armed Conflict. Max Planck Trialogues. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Duffy H. (2019), “Foreign Terrorist Fighters”: A Human Rights Approach?, Security and Human Rights 29(1-4): 120-172.
- Duffy H. & Pitcher K. (2019), Indirectly Inciting Terrorism? Crimes of Expression and the Limits of the Law. In: Goold B., Lazarus L. (Eds.) Security and Human Rights. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 343-386.
- Duffy H. (2018), Strategic Human Rights Litigation: Understanding and Maximising Impact. Oxford & London: Hart Publishing.
- Duffy H. (2018), Guidelines for Addressing the Threats and Challenges of “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” within a Human Rights Framework. Warsaw: OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
- Duffy H. (2018), Strategic Litigation Impacts: Torture in Custody (Comparative Study of Argentina, Kenya and Turkey). New York: Open Society Foundations-Open Society Justice Initiative.
- Duffy H. (13 March 2017), Strategic Human Rights Litigation: ‘Bursting the Bubble on the Champagne Moment’ (Inaugural address, Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Leiden).
- Duffy H. (2017), Detention and Interrogation Abroad: The ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ Programme. In: Nollkaemper A. & Plakokefalos I. (Eds.) The Practice of Shared Responsibility in International Law. Shared Responsibility in International Law Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 89-127.
- Herik L.J. van den & Duffy H. (2016), Human Rights Bodies and International Humanitarian Law: Common but Differentiated Approaches. In: Buckley C.M., Donald A. & Leach P. (Eds.) Towards Convergence in International Human Rights Law: Approaches of Regional and International Systems. Nottingham Studies on Human Rights no. 5 Leiden / Boston: Brill | Nijhoff. 366-406.
- Duffy H. (2016), Litigating Modern Day Slavery in Regional Courts: A Nascent Contribution, Journal of International Criminal Justice 14(2): 375-403.
- Duffy H. (2015), The ‘War on Terror’ and the Framework of International Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Duffy H. (2015), The 'War on Terror' and the Framework of International Law (2nd ed.): CUP.
- Duffy H. (2014), Accountability through Litigation: Potential and Challenges. In: Davis F., Londras F. de (Eds.) Critical Debates on Counter-Terrorist Judicial Review. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 324-365.
- Duffy H. (2014), International Human Rights Law and Terrorism: an Overview. In: Saul B. (Ed.) Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 335-360.
- Duffy H. (18 December 2013), The 'war on terror' and International Law (PhD thesis. E.M. Meijers Institute, Faculty of Law, Leiden University) Meijers-reeks no. 226. Leiden: E.M. Meijers Instituut, Instituut voor Rechtswetenschappelijk Onderzoek. Supervisor(s): Schrijver, N.J.
- Duffy H. (2013), Harmony or Conflict? The Interplay between Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in the Fight against Terrorism. In: Herik L.J. van den, Schrijver N.J. (Eds.) Counterterrorism Strategies in a Fragmented International Legal Order: Meeting the Challenges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 482-526.
- Duffy H. & Kostas S. (2012), Extraordinary Rendition: Challenging the Rule of Law. In: Salinas de Frías A.M.; White N., Samuel K. (Eds.) Counter-Terrorism: International Law and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 539-578.
- Duffy H. (2012), Human Rights Litigation in Sub-Regional African Courts: Towards Justice for Victims or Just More Fragmentation?. In: Herik L.J. van den, Stahn C. (Eds.) The Diversification and Fragmentation of International Criminal Law. Leiden: Brill Nijhoff. 163-184.
- Duffy H. (2009), Hadijatou Mani v Niger: Slavery Unveiled by the ECOWAS Court, Human Rights Law Review 9(1): 151-170.
- Duffy H. (2008), Human Rights Litigation and the "War on Terror", International Review of the Red Cross 90(871): 573-597.
- directing a human rights law practice and charity
- Editorial Board
- Visiting (external) Professor
- Adjunct Visiting Professor
- Honorary Professor