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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Professor Aoife O'Donoghue

Professor of International Law and Global Governance in Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42810
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 42801
Room number: PCL125
Senior Fellow of the Global Policy Institute
Member of the Human Rights Centre

Contact Professor Aoife O'Donoghue (email at aoife.o'


Professor O'Donoghue's research centres on public international law, constitutionalism and feminism with a particular interest in global governance and legal theory. Aoife's work examines constitutionalism, tyranny, utopias and feminism, legal theory and international legal history.

Currently, Aoife is heavily engaged with research and policy debates on Brexit with a particular focus on Northern Ireland including the ESRC funded project Performing Identities: Post-Brexit Northern Ireland and the reshaping of 21st-Century Governance. She works with Colin Murray, Sylvia de Mars and Ben TC Warwick on constitutional change, including Brexit and repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 on Northern Ireland and future constitutional arrangements for the island of Ireland.

Aoife works on theories of tyranny and tyrannicide with her monographTyranny and the Global Legal Order coming out in 2021. Aoife alongside Ruth Houghton is developing ideas around feminist utopias, manifestos and global constitutionalism.

With Máiréad Enright of Birmingham Law School and Julie McCandless of Kent Law School, Aoife is Co-Director of the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project and is embarking on a new project with Máiréad Enright and Liam Thornton and Catherine O'Rourke to revisit Northern/Ireland constitutional texts.

Aoife was a member of the International Law Association's working group on due diligence and her research on due diligence and international organisations was cited by the General Assembly.

Teaching and Administration

Aoife teaches across UG and PG courses including; Public International Law, Legal History, Advanced Issues in International Economic Law and Fundamental Issues of International Legal Governance.

In addition to her research and teaching commitments Aoife has been Director of PGT Admissions, Impact lead, and the Athena Swann Co-Ordinator.and was a co-founder of the Law School Research Cluster 'Law and and Global Justice at Durham'. Aoife is a deputy director of IBRU , a member of DurhamARCTIC and a Senior Fellow of Durham's Global Policy Institute.

Aoife welcomes PhD applications within public international law, global governance, feminism & international law and legal theory.

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Durham Centre for Law and Philosophy
  • Gender & Law at Durham
  • Human Rights Centre
  • Law and Global Justice at Durham

Research Projects

Durham Law School

  • Grants

Research Interests

  • Constitutionalism
  • Feminist Theory
  • History of International Law
  • International Economic Law
  • International Legal & Political Theory
  • Tyranny
  • Use of Force
  • Utopia


Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & de Mars, Sylvia (2021). Beyond Matryoshka Governance in the 21st Century: The Curious Case of Northern Ireland. In The Brexit Challenge for Ireland and the United Kingdom: Constitutions Under Pressure. Doyle, Oran, McHarg, Aileen & Murkens, Jo
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & Rowe, Adam (2021). Feminism, Global Inequality and the 1975 Mexico City Conference. In Women and the UN: A New History of Women's International Human Rights. Adami, Rebecca & Plesch, Dan Routledge.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & Houghton, Ruth (2019). Can Global Constitutionalism be Feminist?. In Research Handbook on Feminist Engagement with International Law. Harris Rimmer, Sue & Ogg, Kate Edward Elgar. 81-102.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & Enright, Máiréad (2019). The Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project: Experiments in Feminist Legal Research. In Case Studies in Legal Research Methodologies: Reflections on Theory and Practice. Cahillane, Laura & Schweppe, Jennifer Clarus Press.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2018). Article 7 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. In Women's Legal Landmarks. Auchmuty, Rosemary & Rackley, Erika Hart. 125-133.
  • Murray, CRG, O'Donoghue, Aoife & Warwick, BTC (2018). The Implications of the Good Friday Agreement for UK Human Rights Reform. In The Irish Yearbook of International Law, Volume 11-12, 2016 & 2017. De Londras, Fiona & Mullally, Siobhán Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2018). Tyranny and Constitutionalism Beyond the State. In Governance and Globalization: International Problems, European Solutions. Schütze, Robert Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2017). Judging and the Judgment Writing Process: A Northern/Irish Perspective. In Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. Enright, Máiréad McCandless, Julie & O'Donoghue, Aoife Hart. 75-92.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2017). McGimpsey v Ireland. In Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. O'Donoghue, Aoife, , Enright, Máiréad & McCandless, Julie Hart. 229-240.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2016). The Separation of Powers Beyond the State: The ‘inconveniences of [a]bsolute power’. In The Powers that Be: Rethinking the Separation of Powers: A Leiden Response to Möllers. ten Napel, H.-M. & Voermans, W. Leiden: Leiden University Press. 45-65.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2015). The exercise of governance authority by international organisations: The role of due diligence obligations after conflict. In International Law and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policy. Saul, Matthew & Sweeney, James London: Routledge. 45-66.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014). Breaking free: Dag Hammarskjöld, good offices and heads of international organisations. In Peace Diplomacy, Global Justice and International Agency: Rethinking Human Security and Ethics in the Spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld. Stahn, C. & Melber, H. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 341-362.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. & O'Callaghan, Patrick. (2010). Protection from Unfair Suretyships in Ireland. In Regulating Unfair Banking Practices in Europe: The Case of Personal Suretyships. Colombi Ciacchi, A. & Weatherill, S. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 339-352.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & McGlynn, Clare (2017). Policing Upskirting: it’s serious, not funny. Huffington Post

Other (Digital/Visual Media)


  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2016), Global Constitutionalism without Global Democracy, EUI, Florence.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2015), From Fragmentation to Constitutionalisation in the United Kingdom and Global Legal Orders, PluriCourts Centre, University of Oslo.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014), Constituency and Community in Global Governance, International Law Association. Kings College, London.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014), Due diligence obligations after conflict, International Law & Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Lancaster.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014), International Law and time, an unnatural alliance?, Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict, Post-Crisis? Governing through ‘Post-’. Warwick.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2013), Irish Feminist Judgments Project, 'Law on the Edge’. UBC, Vancouver.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2012), The Plurality of Courts in International Law: Constitutionalisation or Fragmentation?, The Role of Judiciaries in Resolving Conflicts: Judicial Reflections. Durham.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. (2011), The State and Constitutionalism, International Law Association. Sheffield.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2009), Examining the International Community and its relationship with International Law, Society of Legal Scholars Conference. Keele.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. (2009), The Meaning of Community in International Law, Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association in Denver. Colorado.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. (2008), Ireland and the WTO: Doha Tango, Society of Legal Scholars, Ireland Annual Conference. Trinity College Dublin.

Working Paper

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • International: Defence & disputes:
  • International: Politics, institutions & law:
  • Law & Crime:
  • Gender and law:
  • Human rights:
  • International Law:


Selected Grants

  • 2019: Performing Identities: Post-Brexit Northern Ireland and the reshaping of 21st Century Governance (£29263.86 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
  • 2018: Brexit Consultancy (£16170.00 from )
  • 2016: RI160009: IAA-Constitutional Conundrums:Northern Ireland, the EU and Human Rights, ESRC, £4975.00, 2016-04-01 - 2017-09-30
  • 2016: Toward Diversity in Multilateral Organisations FCO Talent Outreach Events (£3857.00 from )
  • 2016: UN Gender Network (£38820.96 from AHRC)
  • 2014: Law and Negotiation in Conflict: Theory, Policy and Practice (£5000.00 from Modern Law Review)
  • 2014: SLSA Annual Seminar Competition (with Catherine Turner)
  • 2012: Modern Law Review Seminar Funding (with Dr. Gleider I Hernández)