Professor Fiona de Londras

Professor Fiona de Londras

Birmingham Law School
Chair of Global Legal Studies

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor de Londras’ research concerns constitutionalism, human rights and transnationalism. She is particularly interested in the role and function of rights in contentious policy fields, enquiring about whether—and if so how—rights shape the making of law and policy in complex contexts of, for example, counter-terrorism, the European Court of Human Rights, and abortion law in Ireland. Professor de Londras undertakes this through her academic scholarship, public engagement, and political advisory work. Together with her BLS colleague Máiréad Enright, she has been particularly involved in the ongoing process of abortion law reform in Ireland.

Professor de Londras is the joint Editor-in-Chief of the Irish Yearbook of International Law, and formerly edited Legal Studies. She has held adjunct or visiting positions all over the world, and is currently an affiliate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and a Senior Associate of the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in the University of Toronto. She is a regular media commentator on all aspects of legal, political, and constitutional affairs, and tweets about law at @fdelond. In 2017 she was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in law and, from November 2018, is focused primarily on pursuing a research agenda supported by this Prize.


  • BCL (NUI)
  • LLM (NUI)
  • PhD (NUI)


Fiona de Londras joined Birmingham Law School as the inaugural Chair in Global Legal Studies in the summer of 2015. From 2019-2022 she is Honorary Professor at the Australian National University, College of Law. She was previously professor ar Durham Law School and lecturer at University College Dublin. She has undertaken human rights consultancy work for politicians, government departments, and large international institutions. 

Fiona’s research and teaching interests are broadly in the fields of human rights and comparative constitutional law. In her work she particularly explores the role of rights in contentious policy contexts, asking whether and if so how human rights laws shape or influence policy choices, translated into law, in highly contested policy fields. Her work so far has explored these questions primarily in three contexts: counter-terrorism, reproductive rights (especially abortion law), and the development and domestic impacts of the European Convention on Human Rights. She also uses her legal academic expertise to influence policy, politics and legal decision making, having worked with politicians and civil society in Ireland, Gibraltar, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Her work has been funded by the European Commission, the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and the Leverhulme Trust. In 2017 she was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in law, awarded to recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. This Prize is supporting her research agenda from November 2018-2021.

Professor de Londras is an associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, senior associate of the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs in the University of Toronto, and affiliate of the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative in Emory University (Atlanta). She previously held advisory roles in Koç University (Istanbul), the University of Copenhagen, and University College Cork, and is on the advisory boards of major research projects based in the UK and Sweden. She was previously visiting professor at UCD School of Law, and adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales (Sydney).

Professor de Londras is the joint editor-in-chief of the Irish Yearbook of International Law. She was, for six years, co-editor of the journal Legal Studies in which capacity she also sat on the Executive of the Society of Legal Scholars; she continues to serve on the Society’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is a member of the editorial advisory committees of Irish Studies in International Affairs, the University of Wales Press series on International Law, the The Hague Justice Journal, the International Journal of Law in Context, and the IALS Open Book Service for Law. She has reviewed for publishers, journals and funders all over the world, and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review and Strategic colleges.

Professor de Londras regularly appears in print, online, radio, TV and documentary media discussing human rights and comparative constitutional law as well as current affairs more generally. 

Fiona previously held (short-term) visiting positions at University of Peshawar (Pakistan), Emory Law School (Atlanta, GA), University of Minnesota, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (London), the Transitional Justice Institute (University of Ulster), Osgoode Hall Law School (York University, Toronto), the University of Oxford (affiliated to Oxford Human Rights Hub, the OMS Human Rights for Future Generations Programme, and Lincoln College), the University of Hong Kong, and the Australian National University. From 2010-2012 she was a research fellow of the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law. She has delivered keynote lectures all over the world, including in Toronto, Dublin, London, Istanbul, Antwerp, and Dhaka. 


Due to her Philip Leverhulme Prize Professor de Londras is not currently engaged in undergraduate or postgraduate teaching in the School. However, students who wish to discuss her or their research are invited to visit her (Room 146) and/or to contact her by email.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor de Londras currently supervises students working on (national, comparative, and international) public law and on topics as diverse as the conceptualisation of security in law, the future of the ECtHR, postcoloniality and nationality law, migrants' rights, and the regulation of abortion information. Her former doctoral students now hold academic posts at leading law schools around the world, in practice, and in regulatory and policy bodies. She has a strong track record of supporting doctoral students in securing funding from the AHRC, Irish Research Council, and the NUI Travelling Studentship fund as well as their own national governments and the University of Birmingham.

At this time, Professor de Londras has a large group of doctoral researchers. Her capacity to take on new students is therefore very limited, but she would be pleased to hear from exceptional students interested in undertaking work on:

The European Court of Human Rights
Counter-terrorism/security, transnationalism, and human rights
Comparative constitutional law
Abortion law reform

Find out more - our PhD Law  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Professor de Londras’ work is fundamentally concerned with the role, impact and operation of constitutionalism and rights in 'complex' policy areas (i.e. areas in respect of which there are no 'right answers'). In exploring these matters, her work concentrates broadly on  terrorism/security and the law, (comparative) constitutional law, human rights law, and gender and the law. Inevitably these themes sometimes overlap; much of her work on human rights law for example has taken place in, or develops further the work that Professor de Londras has done in, the security/counter-terrorism context. 

Prof. de Londras’ work strives to consider law in context, and almost always adopts a comparative approach drawing insights from comparative constitutional law in particular, but also international law and international human rights law. In some of her work there is an empirical element; for example, the SECILE project (on EU counter-terrorism) was heavily empirically informed having engaged in a structured manner with dozens of stakeholders. Professor de Londras’ research work has been funded by the European Commission FP7 fund, the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and under the auspices of an ERC grant held in the Israel Democracy Institute. In 2017 Professor de Londras was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law, which is supporting her full-time research agenda from November 2018-2021.


Highlight publications

De Londras, F 2019, 'The transnational counter-terrorism order: a problématique', Current Legal Problems, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 203-251.

De Londras, F, Blackbourn, J & Morgan, L 2019, Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State. Bristol University Press.

De Londras, F & Chan, C (eds) 2020, China's National Security: Endangering Hong Kong's Rule of Law? 1st edn, Hart Publishing. <>

De Londras, F 2020, '‘A hope raised and then defeated’? the continuing harms of Irish abortion law', Feminist Review, no. 124, pp. 33-50.

De Londras, F & Enright, M 2018, Repealing the 8th: Reforming Abortion Law in Ireland. Policy Press Shorts, Policy Press. <>

Recent publications


De Londras, F & Dzehtsiarou, K 2018, Great Debates on the European Convention on Human Rights. Palgrave Great Debates in Law, Palgrave Macmillan.


Enright, M, McNeily, K & De Londras, F 2020, 'Abortion activism, legal change, and taking feminist law work seriously', The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 359. <>

De Londras, F, Cleeve, A, Rodriguez, M & Lavelanet, A 2020, 'Integrating Rights and Evidence: A Technical Advance in Abortion Guideline Development', BMJ Global Health.

Morgan, L & de Londras, F 2018, 'Is there a ‘Conservative’ counter-terrorism?', King's Law Journal, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 187-215.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

De Londras, F 2019, When the European Court of Human Rights Decides not to Decide: The Cautionary Tale of A, B & C v Ireland and Referendum-Emergent constitutional Provision. in P Kapotas & V Tzevelekos (eds), Building Consensus on European Consensus: Judicial Interpretation of Human Rights in Europe and Beyond. Cambridge University Press, pp. 311.

De Londras, F 2018, Evaluation and Effectiveness of Counter-Terrorism. in JP Burgess, G Reniers, K Ponnet, W Hardyns & W Smit (eds), Socially Responsible Innovation in Security: Critical Reflections. Routledge New Security Studies, Routledge, pp. 117-128.


De Londras, F & Chan, C 2020, Building Rule of Law Resilience Through Institutions: A Proposed Institutional Infrastructure for National Security Legislation. in F de Londras & C Chan (eds), China's National Security: Endangering Hong Kong's Rule of Law?. Hart Publishing, pp. 275.

De Londras, F & Chan, C 2020, China’s National Security in Hong Kong: A Challenge for Constitutionalism, Autonomy, and the Rule of Law. in F de Londras & C Chan (eds), China's National Security: Endangering Hong Kong's Rule of Law?. Hart Publishing, pp. 1.

De Londras, F 2020, Intersectionality, Repeal, and Reproductive Rights in Ireland. in P Dunne & S Atrey (eds), Intersectionality and Human Rights Law. Hart Publishing.

De Londras, F 2020, On Some Problems with Rights. in D Bedford & J Herring (eds), Embracing Vulnerability: The Challenges and Implications for Law. vol. Routledge, pp. 175-184.

De Londras, F & Enright, M 2020, The Only Lawyer on the Panel’: Anti-Choice Lawfare in the Battle for Abortion Law Reform. in K Browne & S Calkin (eds), After Repeal: Rethinking Abortion Politics. Zed Books.

De Londras, F 2020, “Sustainable Security”: A Proposal. in D Akande, J Kuosamanen, D Roser & H McDermott (eds), Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict and the Environment. Oxford University Press, pp. 108.


De Londras, F & Mullally, S (eds) 2020, Irish Yearbook of International Law: Volume 13, 2018. Irish Yearbook of International Law, vol. 13, 1st edn, Hart Publishing, Oxford. <>

Commissioned report

Brown, KE, De Londras, F & White, J 2019, Embedding human rights in countering extremism: reflections from the field and proposals for change. Commission for Countering Extremism. <>


De Londras, F, Calkin, S & Heathcote, G 2020, 'Abortion in Ireland: introduction to the themed issue', Feminist Review, vol. 124, no. 1, pp. 1-14.

View all publications in research portal


counter-terrorism, security, European law, human rights, abortion and reproductive justice

Media experience

Extensive media experience including television (incl. BBC, RTE, ITV, Channel 4), radio (BBC (national and regional), RTE, Newstalk, ABC), expert contributions to news stories (incl. New York Times, Sidney Morning Herald, Straits Times) and opinion editorials (incl. Guardian, Independent, Irish Times).


  • Reforming abortion law in Ireland
  • Counter-terrorism/anti-terror law
  • Constitutionalism
  • Human rights (including international)
  • Brexit

Policy experience

Experienced in consultation for NGOs, civil society, international institutions, and individual politicians.