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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 queries the structures that enable law to regulate political governance at the international and domestic levels. Aoife's work examines constitutionalism, tyranny, feminism, legal theory and international legal history. Aoife also researches the interaction between law and feminism, particularly within institutions such as the UN and the process of feminist judging. Currently Aoife is heavily engaged with research and policy debates on Brexit with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Aoife is also currently working on a monograph on tyranny and global governance.

Aoife has published a number of articles on global constitutionalism, feminism, Brexit and Northern Ireland, tyranny, good offices and trade, as well as the role of law in conflict and the use of force. Her monograph centres on constitutionalism within international law.

With Máiréad Enright of Birmingham Law School and Julie McCandless of LSE, Aoife is Co-Director of the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project.

Aoife works 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 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 one of the founding contributors to and regularly contributes articles on her research relating to current developments in international law. Aoife was also 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; Law of the International Community, Advanced Issues in International Economic Law and Public International Law. 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 Impact Lead within the Law School and has also served as Director of LLM Admissions and was a co-founder of the Law School Research Cluster 'Law and and Global Justice at Durham'. Aoife has previously been 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

Selected Grants

  • 2016: RI160009: IAA-Constitutional Conundrums:Northern Ireland, the EU and Human Rights, ESRC, £4975.00, 2016-04-01 - 2017-09-30
  • 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

  • O'Donoghue, A (Forthcoming). Tyranny and the Anxieties of Law beyond the State. In Governance & Globalisation: International and European Perspectives. Schütze, R & Gehring, M Bloombury Hart.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & Houghton, Ruth (2018). Can Global Constitutionalism be Feminist? In Future of Women's Engagement with International Law. Harris Rimmer, Sue & Ogg, Kate Edward Elgar.
  • 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.

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