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Durham University

Durham Law School

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 focuses on public international law and constitutionalism 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 GovernanceThis is part of work with Colin Murray, Sylvia de Mars and Ben TC Warwick on Constitutional Conundrums a project that examines constitutional change, including Brexit and repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998, on Northern Ireland.

Aoife is currently working on a monograph on tyranny and global governance to be published by CUP entitled 'Tyranny and the Global Legal Order'. Aoife is also working with Ruth Houghton of Newcastle Law School on feminist utopias 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 to revisit Irish constitutional texts.

Aoife also works with Rosa Freedman from Reading Law School on an AHRC funded project to create a UN Gender Network which focuses on reform within the UN Secretariat and Agencies to establish gender equality.

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

Aoife has also been a Visiting Scholar at the PluriCourts Centre at the University of Oslo, the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge, the British Institute for International and Comparative Law and the Law Faculty of University College Cork.

Teaching and Administration

Aoife teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses including; Public International Law, Advanced Issues in International Economic Law and Fundamental Issues of International Legal Governance. She also supervises dissertations in these areas on the undergraduate and LLM programmes. Aoife also supervises several PhD students. 

In addition to her research and teaching commitments Aoife is currently Director of LLM Admissions having previously held the role of impact lead and was a co-founder of the Law School Research Cluster 'Law and and Global Justice at Durham'. Aoife was also the Athena Swann Co-Ordinator.

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

Research Interests

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

Selected Grants

  • 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)

Research Groups

  • Human Rights Centre
  • Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Research Projects

  • Grants


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

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