Dr Rosa Freedman

Dr Rosa Freedman

Birmingham Law School
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

+44 (0) 121 414 9197
+44 (0) 121 414 3585
Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rosa's research primarily focuses on international law, human rights, and the United Nations. She adopts a multidisciplinary approach to her research, utilising theories of international relations and international development. Rosa sits on the advisory boards of civil society organisations and regularly contributes to and is interviewed by national and international media.


  • LLB (QMUL)
  • LLM (UCL)
  • BVC (Inns of Court School of Law)
  • PhD (Queen Mary, University of London)


Rosa obtained her LLB in 2005 before undertaking a specialised LLM (Public International Law) at University College London. She was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 2007. Rosa joined Birmingham Law School from QMUL, where she was awarded a studentship for the duration of her doctoral studies.


  • International Human Rights (LLB and LLM)
  • Socio-Legal Theory (LLM)
  • International Criminal Law (LLM)
  • Research Skills (LLM)
  • Dissertation supervision
  • Subjects previously taught: Land Law (LLB), Criminal Law (LLB)

Postgraduate supervision

Rosa Freedman is happy to supervise postgraduate research students interested in:

  • United Nations and law, particularly human rights, peacekeeping, or development activities
  • International human rights law, particularly the creation and development of international norms, monitoring and accountability and the international level, or mainstreaming human rights
  • The relationship between international law and international relations

Potential students are invited to contact Rosa via email to discuss their research proposals prior to submitting official applications.


Rosa researches and writes on the United Nations, UN human rights bodies, and international human rights law. She is interested in the extent to which UN bodies discharge their mandates and the intersection of international law and international relations. She has published extensively on the United Nations Human Rights Council and is currently focusing on the United Nations Special Procedures system. Her work on Special Procedures includes a British Academy-funded project, an expert workshop jointly organised and run with colleagues at the University of Nottingham, and an interdisciplinary collaborative project on Africa and Special Procedures. Rosa’s other current research focus is on UN peacekeeping, human rights and accountability. She has a particular interested in the Haiti Cholera case and in accountability for peacekeeping personnel who commit human rights abuses. Rosa also undertakes interdisciplinary and collaborative research on hybridity, including jointly organising and running an interdisciplinary workshop through the Institute of Advanced Studies. Rosa has a broader interest in the impact of politics, international relations, the media, and civil society both on the work and proceedings of international institutions and on states’ compliance with international human rights norms. She presents her work at national and international conference, expert workshops and stakeholder meetings.

Other activities

  • Academic head of the Legal Skills Advisory Service
  • Law School coordinator for the MA in International Law, Politics and Global Ethics
  • Member of the University Humanities and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee



Edited Collections

  • The United Nations Special Procedures ‘System’ (Brill, 2016) forthcoming (with Aoife Nolan and Therese Murphy)
  • Hybridity: Law, Culture and Development (Routledge, 2016) forthcoming (with Nicolas Lemay-Hebert)


  • ‘Expanding or Diluting Human Rights?: The proliferation of United Nations Special Procedures mandates.’ 38 (1) Human Rights Quarterly (2016), 164-193 (with Jacob Mchangama)
  • "‘Jistis ak Reparasyon pou Tout Viktim Kolera MINUSTAH’: The United Nations and the Right to Health in Haiti" 28(3) Leiden Journal of International (2015), 507-527
  • Rosa Freedman & Nicolas Lemay-Hebert, 'Towards an alternative interpretation of UN immunity: A human rights-based approach to the Haiti Cholera Case' (2015) Zoom-In, QIL‎-Questions of International Law
  • 'UN Immunity or Impunity?: A human rights based challenge.' 25 (1) European Journal of International Law (2014), pp. 239-254
  • Third Generation’ Rights: Is there room for hybrid constructs within International Human Rights Law?’, 2 (4) Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law (2013), pp. 935-959
  • The United Nations Human Rights Council: More of the same?', 31 (2)   Wisconsin International Law Journal (2013), pp. 208-251
  • ‘New Mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council,’ 29 (3) Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (2011), pp. 289–323
  • ‘The United States and the Human Rights Council: An Early Assessment,’ 23(1) St Thomas Law Review (2010), pp. 23-70
  • ‘Improvement on the Commission?: The UN Human Rights Council’s Inaction on Darfur,’ 16(1) University of California-Davis Journal of International Law & Policy (2009), pp. 81-129
  • ‘Public Awareness of Human Rights:Distortions in the Mass Media,’ 14(4) International Journal of Human Rights,  14(4) (2010), pp. 491-523 (with Eric Heinze, 50% - 50%) 

Book Chapters

  • ‘Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The UN Human Rights Council at 10’ in Eric Cox and M. Joel Voss (eds.) The United Nations Human Rights Council at 10 (forthcoming, Routledge, 2016)  
  • ‘The United Nations Human Rights Council’ in Philip Alston and Frederic Mégret (eds.) The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal (Oxford University Press, 2016) forthcoming
  • ‘Supporting or Resisting? The Relationship between Global North States and Special Procedures’ in Aoife Nolan, Rosa Freedman and Therese Murphy (eds.) The United Nations Special Procedures ‘System’ (Brill, 2016) (with Francois Crépeau)
  • ‘The “Right” to Peace’ in Rosa Freedman and Nicolas Lemay-Hebert (eds.) Hybridity: Interdisciplinary Engagements (Routledge, 2016) (with Philipp Lottholtz)
  • 'Hybrid Human Rights', in P. Jackson,  Handbook on Security and Development, Edward Elgar; 2015), 386-401.

Book Reviews  

  • 'The End of Conceit: Western Rationality After Postcolonialism, by Patrick Chabal', 2(1) Peacebuilding , (2013) pp.285-287       

Shorter Papers (By Invitation)  

Media articles


The Independent

Huffington Post

The Guardian Online

Jewish Chronicle

The Conversation

Law Blogs