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Durham Law School

Staff profile

Professor Eleanor Spaventa, Laurea (Rome University 'La Sapienza'), LL.M (Cantab), D.Phil (Oxon)

Personal web page

Professor in Durham Law School
Director of Gender and Diversity, Durham Law School
Ref Mentor, Durham Law School
Member of the Human Rights Centre

Contact Professor Eleanor Spaventa (email at


Eleanor Spaventa is Professor of European Union Law; in 2014 she was a Christopherson/Knott fellow at the Institute for Advance Studies in Durham; in 2011-12 she held a Fernard Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute. Eleanor has been Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin (2009-2012); at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2009 amd 2014); and at the university LUISS "Guido Carli" (2009)in Rome, and she previously held positions at Birmingham University, where she was a lecturer, and at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Norton Rose European Law Lecturer and a fellow and Director of Studies at New Hall (now Murray Edwards).


Eleanor's research interests lie in European Union Law and in particular in the fields of European constitutional law, free movement, fundamental rights and co- operation in criminal matters in the EU. She is the author of "Free Movement of Persons in the EU - Barriers to Movement and their Constitutional Context" (Kluwer law International, 2007), the co-author of Wyatt and Dashwood's "Law of the European Union" (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006 and 2011), and the co- editor of "Social Welfare and EU Law" (Hart publishing 2005); "the EU and Global Emergencies" (Hart publishing, forthcoming 2010), and "A Constitutional Order of States: essays in honour of Alan Dashwood" (Hart publishing, 2011); and "Empowerment and Disempowerment of the European Citizen" (Hart Publishing, forthcoming, 2012). She is a recognised expert in her field; her work has been quoted by Advocates General in front of the European Court of Justice (cases C-443 and 444/14 Warendorf; C-434/09 McCarthy; C-34/09 Ruiz-Zambrano;C-27/09 P PMOI; C-22/08 Vatsouras; C-228/07 Petersen; C-212/06 Gouvernement etc, alla available on; in front of the Latvian Constitutional Court ( and she has been invited to provide written evidence on the Lisbon Treaty by the House of Lords Constitution Committee . Eleanor also submitted evidence to the MInistry of Justice as part of the balance of competences review on Fundamental rights (

In 2017 Eleanor authored a study for the European Parliament's PETI Committee on the impact on European Citizens of Brexit (, and in 2016 she authored a study on "The interpretation of Article 51 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: the dilemma of stricter or broader application of the Charter to national measures" (

Eleanor is an analytical expert for the FreSsco network, a network of independent experts on the free movement of workers and social security funded by the European Commission to provide expert guidance in these fields ( In 2014 she co-authored an analytical report on the notion of restriction in the free movement of workers, and in 2015 she has co-authored a comparative report on "The concept of worker under Article 45 TFEU and certaiun non standard forms of employment contracts" (

Eleanor is currently working on both Brexxit and EU fundamenta rights. She has collaborated with and has been interviewed in various media outlets (including BBC World, BBC radios, Radio Sputnik etc).

Teaching Areas

Single Market
European Business Law
European Constitutional Law

Research Interests

  • Brexit
  • European Constitutional Law
  • European Union Citizenship and Free Movement
  • EU Internal Market
  • EU Fundamental Rights
  • Co-operation in Criminal matters in the EU
  • EU Counter-terrorism

Grants Awarded (past grants)

  • 2011 Fernard Braudel Senior Fellowship (European University Institute, EUR 9000)
  • 2010: Empowerment and disempowerment of the Union citizen, grant awarded by the Europa Institute (Edinburgh), value £10000, co-PI (with Nioc Shuibhne and M Dougan). 
  • 2008-09: EU and Global Emergencies, grant awarded by the European Commission's Representation, value  € 18500 from, co-I (Antoniadis principal investigator).  
  • 2007 The Reform Treaty, Italian Cultural Institute £ 2000.

Selected Grants

  • 2011: Union Citizenship after the Lisbon Treaty - Unleashing the potential (£6860.00 from European Commission)
  • 2007: Amato Event (£1000.00 from Italian Cultural Institute)

Related Links

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


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