Dr Ben Warwick

Dr Ben Warwick

Birmingham Law School
Senior Lecturer in Law

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. This has led him to write on the related questions of crisis, neoliberalism, and the reversal of rights protections. He is a specialist in international human rights, the United Nations human rights bodies, and human rights after Brexit (especially the Irish context).

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. He is currently Co-Investigator on a £250k ESRC Governance After Brexit grant which is interrogating questions of identity and governance, and was shortlisted for the Vice Chancellors Emerging Impact Award.

Ben is on the European Parliament’s list of legal experts, an Associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, is Co-Coordinator of the Law and Society Association's Economic and Social Rights network, and a member of the Queen Mary Human Rights Law Review’s Review Board.


  • 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. He holds an LLB degree from Durham University, and an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham. His PhD, from Durham University, was on the doctrine of non-retrogression in economic and social rights. He previously taught at Durham University during his three years as Graduate Teaching Assistant there. He became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015.


  • Criminal Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Foundations in International Law & Globalisation
  • Contemporary Issues in International Law & Globalisation
  • Law in Action 1, Law in Action for Graduates (Module Leader)

Postgraduate supervision

  • 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.



  • Sylvia de Mars, Colin RG Murray, Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben TC Warwick, Bordering Two Unions: Northern Ireland and Brexit, Policy Press (August 2018, Open Access here).

Journal articles

  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Unwinding Retrogression: Conflicting Concepts and Patchy Practice’ (accepted, forthcoming 2019) Human Rights Law Review
  • Colin RG Murray, Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben TC Warwick, ‘The Implications of the Good Friday Agreement for UK Human Rights Reform’ 11 Irish Yearbook of International Law (2018).
  • Joe J Wills and Ben TC Warwick, ‘Contesting Austerity: The Potential and Pitfalls of Socioeconomic Rights Discourse’ (2016) 23(2) Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 629.
  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Socio-Economic Rights During Economic Crises: A Changed Approach to Non-Retrogression’ (2016) 65(1) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 249.
  • Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben TC Warwick, ‘Constitutionally Questioned: UK Debates, International Law, and Northern Ireland’ (2015) 66(1) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 93.

Chapters in edited collections

  • CRG Murray and Ben TC Warwick, ‘The Strange Case of Northern Ireland’s Disappearing Rights in the EU-UK Withdrawal Negotiations’ in Wolfgang Benedek, Philip Czech, Lisa Heschl, Karin Lukas, Manfred Nowak (eds), European Yearbook on Human Rights (Intersentia, forthcoming 2019). 
  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Social Minima at the UN Treaty Bodies: Minimal Consistency?’ in Toomas Kotkas, Ingrid Leijten, Frans Pennings (eds), Specifying and Securing a Social Minimum in the Battle Against Poverty (Hart, forthcoming 2019).
  • Helen Fenwick, Michelle Farrell, Wendy Guns and Ben TC Warwick, ‘ABC v Ireland’ in Troy Lavers and Loveday Hodson (eds), Feminist International Judgments (Hart, forthcoming 2019). 
  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Debt, Austerity, and the Structural Responses of Social Rights’ in Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina (eds), Sovereign Debt and Human Rights (OUP, 2018).
  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘A Hierarchy of Comfort? The CESCR’s Approach to the 2008 Crisis’ in Gillian MacNaughton and Diane Frey (eds), Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World (CUP, 2018).   
  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Describing a Rights Realisation Hybrid: The Example of Socio-Economic Rights’ in Nicholas Lemay-Herbert and Rosa Freedman (eds), Hybridity: Law, Culture and Development (Routledge, 2016).

Policy papers

Book reviews

  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Human Rights and Public Finance: Budgets & the Promotion of Economic and Social Rights, by Aoife Nolan, Rory O’Connell and Colin Harvey (eds.)’ (2015) 8 Irish Yearbook of International Law.
  • Ben TC Warwick, ‘Beth Goldblatt and Kirsty McLean (eds): Women’s Social and Economic Rights: Developments in South Africa’ (2014) 23(1) Feminist Legal Studies 101.
  • B Warwick, ‘Failing to Protect: The UN and the Politicisation of Human Rights by Rosa Freedman’ (2014) LSE Review of Books.

Evidence and briefings

Selected op-eds and blogs

  • M. Campbell and B. Warwick, ‘Austerity Policies in the UK an Impermissible Retrogressive Measure’ (Oxford Human Rights Hub 2018)
  • B. Warwick, ‘A Windrush in waiting: post-Brexit categories of citizen in Northern Ireland’ (LSE Brexit Blog, 2018)
  • B. Warwick, ‘Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement’ (DCU Brexit Institute 2018)
  • B. Warwick, ‘Eviction and Homelessness under the OP-ICESCR’ (Oxford Human Rights Hub, 2018)
  • B. Warwick, ‘“Protecting the Public Purse” in cuts to Social Security: Krajnc v Slovenia’ (Strasbourg Observers 2017)
  • B. Warwick, ‘How Have The Conservatives Done On Human Rights?’ (Huffington Post, 2016).
  • B. Warwick, ‘Sanction First, Ask Questions Later’ (Huffington Post, 2016).
  • S. de Mars, A. O’Donoghue, C. Murray, and B. Warwick‘Brexit-ing Northern Ireland: The Challenges Ahead’ (Oxford Business Law Blog, 2016).
  • C. Murray and B. Warwick, ‘Your Irish Granny Could Save Your EU Citizenship’ (BuzzFeed, 2016).
  • R. Freedman and B. Warwick, ‘UK Must Constructively Engage with UN Expert on Violence Against Women’ (Huffington Post, 2015).
  • B. Warwick and A. O'Donoghue, ‘A new Constitutional Settlement for Northern Ireland: Queries from International Law’ (Human Rights in Ireland, 2014).
  • B. Warwick, ‘Britain must provide enough food for the people – and that’s the law’ (The Conversation, 2014).
  • B. Warwick and R. Freedman, ‘Britain’s first FGM prosecution is all too politically convenient’ (The Conversation, 2014).
  • B. Warwick, ‘Say it quietly, but this Defra report is about a right to food’ (Human Rights in Ireland, 2014).
  • B. Warwick, ‘The UK report on socio-economic rights: guilty by omission?’ (Human Rights in Ireland, 2014).
  • B. Warwick, ‘An Economic Crisis… For Women’ (Inherently Human Blog, 2013).

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.