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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Professor Deryck Beyleveld, PhD

Professor of Durham Law School
Member of the Human Rights Centre

Contact Professor Deryck Beyleveld (email at


Deryck Beyleveld, BSc.Hons (Rand), MA (Cantab),.PhD, FSB, Professor of Law and Bioethics. His numerous publications span Criminology, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Moral and Legal Philosophy, and many areas of law. He has a special interest in the regulation and ethics of Biotechnology and Medical Science, and founded the Sheffield Institute of Biotechnological Law and Ethics (SIBLE) in 1994, which he directed until his appointment at Durham University in 2006. He is an exponent of the moral theory of the American philosopher, Alan Gewirth, and much of his work involves application of this theory in the critical analysis of law. He is the author of A Bibliography on General Deterrence Research (Saxon House 1980) and The Dialectical Necessity of Morality (Chicago University Press 1991); co-author (with Roger Brownsword) of Law as a Moral Judgment (Sweet and Maxell 1986 and Sheffield Academic Press 1994), Mice Morality and Patents (Common Law Institute of Intellectual Property 1993), Human Dignity in Bioethics and Biolaw (OUP 2001), and Consent in the Law (Hart 2007); and co-author with a group of lawyers, scientists, clinicians, and philosophers of Embryo Research in Pluralistic Europe (Springer 2003). He has participated in many EC funded projects, and he co-ordinated an EC funded Concerted Action PRIVIREAL on the Implementation of the Data Protection Directive in Relation to Medical Research and the Role of Research Ethics Committees from 2002-2005. He holds the Visiting Chair in Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics at the University of Utrecht, which occupies 20% of his time. He was Vice-Chair of South Sheffield Local Research Ethics Committee from 1992-1998 and Vice-Chair of Trent Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee from 1997-2005. He is on the Advisory Board of the Polish Jurisprudence Journal Ius et Lex, of Medical Law International, and Medicine and Law (the journal of the World Association of Medical Law), and the Editorial Committee of Law, Innovation and Technology.

Teaching Areas

Philosophy of Law
Law and Medicine

Research Interests

  • Moral Philosophy (Pure and Applied) (especially, Gewirth and Kant)
  • Legal Philosophy
  • Regulation of Medical Research
  • Privacy and Data Protection in Medical Law
  • Morality in Patent Law
  • The Regulation and Ethics of Biotechnology
  • Precautionary reasoning in legal thinking

Selected Grants

  • 2007: INTEGRATED BIOMEDICAL INFORMATICS (£65508.14 from European Commission)

Research Groups

  • Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences
  • Durham European Law Institute
  • Human Rights Centre

Research Projects

  • Grants

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Beyleveld, Deryck & Brownsword, Roger (2020). Is There Really Anything Wrong With an Absolute Principle?. In Modern German Non-Positivism – From Radbruch to Alexy. Borowski, Martin Mohr Siebeck. 279-292.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2017). Sheffield Natural Law School. In Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Sellers, M. & Kirste, P. Dordrecht: Springer. 1-8.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2017). Transcendental Arguments for a Categorical Imperative as Arguments from Agential Self-Understanding. In Transcendental Arguments in Moral Theory. Brune, Jens Peter Stern, Robert & Werner, Micha H Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. 141-159.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2017). What Is Gewirth and What IS Beyleveld? A Retrospect with Comments on the Contributions. In Ethical Rationalism and the Law. Capps, Patrick & Pattinson, Shaun D. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 233-255.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2016). Gewirth versus Kant on Kant’s Maxim of Reason: Towards a Gewirthian Philosophical Anthropology. In Gewirthian Perspectives on Human Rights. Bauhn, P. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 13-29.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2016). The duties we have to future generations: a Gewirthian approach. In Human Rights and Sustainability: Moral responsibilities for the future. Bos, Gerhard & Düwell, Marcus Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 137-150.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2015). Making sense of human dignity. In From reason to practice in bioethics: An anthology dedicated to the works of John Harris. Coggon, John, Chan, Sarah Holm, Søren & Kushner, Thomasine Manchester University Press.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck & Brownsword, Roger (2015). Research Participants and the Right to be Informed. In Inspiring a Medico-Legal Revolution: Essays in Honour of Sheila McLean. Ferguson, Pamela R & Laurie, Graeme T London: Routledge. 173-188.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2011). Privacy, Confidentiality and Data Protection. In The SAGE Handbook of Health Care Ethics: Core and Emerging Issues. Chadwick, Ruth, Have, Henk ten & Meslin, Eric M. SAGE.
  • Beyleveld, D. (2009). Legal Issues Concerning Regulation of Chimeras and Hybrids. In CHIMBRIDS - Chimeras and Hybrids in Comparative European and International Research: Scientific, Ethical, Philosophical and Legal Aspects. Taupitz, J. & Weschka, M. Springer. 645-666.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck (2009). UK: Case 1-10 according to UK law. In CHIMBRIDS - Chimeras and Hybrids in Comparative European and International Research: Scientific, Ethical, Philosophical and Legal Aspects. Taupitz, Jochen & Weschka, Marion Springer. 847-853.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck. & Sethe, Sebastian. (2008). The European Community Directives on Data Protection and Clinical Trials. In The Oxford Textbook of Clinical Research Ethics. Ezekiel J. Emanuel et al. Oxford University Press, New York. 180-186.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck. & Pattinson, Shaun. (2007). Great Britain’s Perspective on the Status and Protection of the Extracorporeal Embryo. In International Perspectives on the Status and Protection of the Extracorporeal Embryo. Eser, Albin, Koch, Hans Georg. & Seith, Carola. Baden-Baden: Nomos. 171-203.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck. (2006). Conceptualising Privacy in Relation to medical research values. In First Do Not Harm: Law, Ethics and Healthcare. McLean, Shelia A.M. Aldershot: Ashgate. 151-164.
  • Beyleveld, D. & Townend, D. (2004). EU, Norway and NAS Law Report Framework. In The Data Protection Directive and Medical Research Across Europe. Beyleveld, D., Townend, D., Rouille-Mirza, S. & Wright, J. Ashgate. 115-123.
  • Beyleveld, D., Rouille-Mirza, S., Townend, D. & Wright, J. (2004). Introduction. In Implementation of the Data Protection Directive in Relation to Medical Research in Europe. Beyleveld, D., Rouille-Mirza, S., Townend, D. & Wright, J. Ashgate. 3-4.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck. (2004). The Duty to Provide Information to the Data Subject: Articles 10 and 11 of Directive 95/46/EC. In The Data Protection Directive and Medical Research Across Europe. Beyleveld, D., Townend, D., Rouillé-Mirza, S. & Wright, J. Aldershot.: Ashgate. 69-88.
  • Beyleveld, D. & Brownsword, R. (2000). Final statement on the concerted action “Basic Principles of Bioethics And Biolaw”. In Centre for Ethics and Law and Barcelona: Institute Borja de Bioètica. Rendtorff, J. D. & Kemp, P. 45-55.

Conference Proceeding

  • Morling, N., Rittner, C., Schmitter, H., Beyleveld D., Martin, P. D., Schneider, P. M., Scheithauer, R., Werrett, D. J., Olaisen, B. & Kloosterman, A. (1997). Summary of the discussion.

Journal Article

Working Paper

  • Beyleveld, Deryck & Brownsword, Roger (1999). Main developments in bioethics and biolaw in the United Kingdom, 1996-1998.
  • Beyleveld, D. & Brownsword, R. (1997). Human dignity, human rights, and the human genome. 37-64.
  • Beyleveld, Deryck & Brownsword, Roger (1996). SIBLE: II European legal-morality and its application to the Human Genome Project.

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