Dr Ben Warwick

Dr Ben Warwick

Birmingham Law School
Reader in Human Rights Law
Head of Planning and Strategy

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Ben Warwick’s research explores how economic factors affect human rights (and especially socio-economic rights). He is interested in the ways that laws and the institutions that enforce them change under such pressures. He is a specialist in international human rights, the United Nations human rights bodies, and human rights in various crisis contexts.

Ben is a lead quality assessor on quality and standards for the Office for Students, a subject matter Assessor for the Quality Assurance Agency, is on the European Parliament’s list of legal experts, is an Associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, has been a consultant to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Irish Equality and Human Rights Commission, has advised officials and politicians across the political spectrum in the UK and Ireland, and has engaged with diplomatic missions from a number of nations.

His research is frequently used by governmental and non-governmental bodies nationally and internationally, and has been prominently reported in national print and news media. His research has been influential in two new international agreements between the UK and Ireland, a provision in the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement, and four new pieces of statutory law (in the UK, Ireland, and Scotland). He has been awarded funds by GCRF, AHRC, ESRC, SLSA, and the Irish Equality and Human Rights Commission totalling over £2.6m. He is currently Co-Investigator on the highly interdisciplinary Rights for Time network, a £2.13m Global Challenges Network+ grant.


  • PhD, Durham University
  • LLM (Human Rights Law), University of Nottingham
  • LLB, Durham University


Ben Warwick joined Birmingham Law School in 2016 as Lecturer in Law, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2020, and Reader in 2021.

He was Head of Education and Deputy Head of School (Education) between 2020 and 2022. He became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. He previously taught at Durham University during his three years as Graduate Teaching Assistant there.

He holds an LLB degree from Durham University, and an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham.


  • Criminal Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Law & Globalisation
  • Legal skills, methods, and writing

Postgraduate supervision

Ben Warwick is interested in supervising research in the following areas:

Economic and social rights
International human rights and resources
Rights enforcement

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


Ben’s research interests lie within the broad field of human rights law. A primary strand of this research are the issues surrounding resource constraints and the implementation of economic and social rights. Working primarily with the international human rights framework, he has researched the circumstances in which 'backwards steps' (or ‘retrogression’) in rights protection might be taken. This research is particularly applicable to situations of crisis and where resource constraints occur through natural and economic disasters.

He has also undertaken research projects on, for example, the general obligations of the ICESCR, the performance of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to food in the UK, neoliberalism, theories of emergency, and the right to education in armed conflict.


Recent publications


McNeilly, K & Warwick, BTC (eds) 2022, The Times and Temporalities of International Human Rights. Human Rights Law in Perspective, 1st edn, Bloomsbury Publishing. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781509949939

de Mars, S, Murray, C, O'Donoghue, A & Warwick, BTC 2018, Bordering Two Unions: Brexit and Northern Ireland. 1 edn, Policy Press. <http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=1000392>


Armstrong, MA, Rice, CAG & Warwick, BTC 2022, 'The visual communication of Brexit in Northern Ireland: decoding public imagery on identity, politics and Europe', Territory, Politics, Governance. https://doi.org/10.1080/21622671.2022.2115544

Warwick, BTC 2019, 'Unwinding retrogression: examining the practice of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? ', Human Rights Law Review, pp. 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngz023

Wills, JJ & Warwick, BTC 2016, 'Contesting austerity: the potential and pitfalls of socioeconomic rights discourse', Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 629-664. https://doi.org/10.2979/indjglolegstu.23.2.0629

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Warwick, BTC 2019, Debt, Austerity, and the Structural Responses of Social Rights. in I Banketas & C Lumina (eds), Sovereign Debt and Human Rights. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198810445.003.0021

Warwick, BTC 2019, Social Minima at the UN Treaty Bodies: Minimal Consistency? in T Kotkas, I Leijten & F Pennings (eds), Specifying and Securing a Social Minimum in the Battle Against Poverty. Hart Publishing.

Murray, C & Warwick, BTC 2019, The Strange Case of Northern Ireland’s Disappearing Rights in the EU-UK Withdrawal Negotiations. in European Yearbook on Human Rights.

Warwick, BTC 2018, A Hierarchy of Comfort? The CESCR’s Approach to the 2008 Crisis. in G MacNaughton & D Frey (eds), Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World. Cambridge University Press.

Warwick, BTC 2017, Describing a Rights Realisation Hybrid: The Example of Socio-Economic Rights. in N Lemay-Hébert & R Freedman (eds), Hybridity: Law, Culture and Development. Routledge, pp. 205-217. <https://www.routledge.com/Hybridity-Law-Culture-and-Development/Lemay-Hebert-Freedman/p/book/9781138673427>

Fenwick, H, Guns, W & Warwick, BTC 2016, ABC v Ireland. in T Lavers & L Hodgson (eds), Feminist International Judgments. Hart Publishing.


Dajani, R, Flowe, H & Warwick, BTC 2021, 'Social and political justice hit by UK aid cuts', Nature, vol. 592, no. 7854, pp. 353-353. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00955-7

Commissioned report

Warwick, BTC 2020, Continuing EU Citizenship 'Rights, Opportunities and Benefits' in Northern Ireland after Brexit. Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Murray, C, O'Donoghue, A & Warwick, BTC 2018, Discussion paper on Brexit. Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Dublin. <https://www.ihrec.ie/documents/discussion-paper-brexit/>

Murray, C, O'Donoghue, A, de Mars, S & Warwick, BTC 2018, Discussion paper on the common travel area. Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Belfast. <http://nihrc.org/publication/detail/discussion-paper-on-the-common-travel-area>

View all publications in research portal


  • International human rights
  • Austerity
  • Socio-economic issues and rights (e.g. social security benefits, food banks, work)
  • Brexit and Northern Ireland


  • International Human Rights
  • Austerity
  • Brexit and Northern Ireland

Policy experience

Experienced in consultation for third sector organisations, parliamentary committees, national and local politicians, and international bodies.