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 has been a staff member of the Grotius Centre since January 2015 when she was appointed as Gieskes Professor of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

More information about Helen Duffy

Curriculum vitae

Professor Duffy currently teaches two Masters level courses, on the ‘International Protection of Human Rights’ in the Advanced Masters Public International Law programme and  on ‘Humanitarian law, Human Rights and Terrorism’ on the regular LLM Programme. She supervises two PHD candidates, Floris Tan and Peter Kempees, and several LLM theses.

Her Leiden position is part-time (0.4 FTE) and she also runs ‘Human Rights in Practice,’ an international practice based in the Hague that specializes in strategic litigation before regional and international human rights courts and bodies (www.rightsinpractice.org). She held a variety of international legal positions prior to establishing her practice in 2011 including: Legal Director of INTERIGHTS, Legal Officer in the Prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Counsel to Human Rights Watch/New York, Legal Director of the Centre for Human Rights Legal Action (Guatemala), 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 is Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow, and visiting professor at the University of Melbourne and American University. She serves on the advisory boards of several organisations. Her publications on international law and practice are listed below, and include ‘The War on Terror and the Framework of International law’ CUP, 2nd ed. 2015 and Strategic Human Rights Litigation: Understanding and Maximising Impact.

Her current areas of research include human rights litigation,  the interplay of human rights and humanitarian law and several issues related to counter-terrorism, human rights and the rule of law. 

Since january 2015 she has been appointed as Gieskes Chair of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. This chair is funded by the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds. 


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


  • Human Rights in Practice Stichting directing a human rights law practice and charity
  • 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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