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Durham Law School

Staff Profiles

Professor Ian Leigh, LL.B, LL.M, Solicitor

Professor in Durham Law School
Director of Postgraduate Studies/Director of PGR, Durham Law School
Ref Mentor, Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42824
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 42801
Room number: PCL119
Director of the Human Rights Centre

Contact Professor Ian Leigh (email at



After graduating in law and completing a research degree at the University College of Wales Aberystwyth Ian Leigh practised as a public sector solicitor with Portsmouth City Council. On returning to academic life he held posts at several UK universities before being appointed as a Professor of Law in Durhamin 1997. He has also held visiting positions at the universities of Otago, Florida, Melbourne, Virginia and Osgoode Hall Law School.

His research interests span legal aspects of national security, local government law, human rights and religious liberty. He is author of four monographs and has edited a further three books, as well as publishing more than 60 articles in academic journals and chapters in edited collections. These include articles in the Cambridge Law Journal, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, McGill Law Journal, Modern Law Review, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Parliamentary Affairs, Public Law, Res Publica and the Review of International Studies. He has also written for The Times and The Independent newspapers.

His current projects include preparation of a second edition of Ahdar and Leigh Religious Freedom in the Liberal State (Oxford University Press, 2013) and jointly editing (with Roger Masterman) Rights Protection under the UK’s Statutory Bill of Rights: Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives. (Proceedings of the British Academy 2013).

Professor Leigh has presented his research at academic conferences and to meetings of policy-makers, parliamentarians, and judges in approximately 30 countries. In his policy work he has acted as a consultant for the Council of Europe (Venice Commission), the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. His policy reports include: Making Intelligence Accountable (Norwegian Parliament Publishing House, 2005), which has been translated into 14 languages , and the Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel, (OSCE, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw, 2008), also in 7 languages, (both with Hans Born).

He acts as an international adviser to the  ‘Impact of Religion – Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy’ Programme at the University of Uppsala, 2008-2018.



Teaching Areas

Administrative Law
Constitutional Law
Domestic implementation of Human Rights


Books: edited

Masterman R and Leigh IRights Protection under the UK’s Statutory Bill of Rights: Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives, (Proceedings of the British Academy Series No. 183,Oxford University Press 2013), 342 pp. + xi. ISBN 978-0-19-726537-6; ISSN 0068-1202.


Journal papers: academic

Leigh I and Ahdar R 2012 ’ Post-Secularism and the European Court of Human Rights (or how God never really went away)’ Modern Law Review 75(6) 1065-1099.

Leigh I 2012 ‘Rebalancing Rights and National Security: Reforming UKIntelligence Oversight a Decade After 9/11’ Intelligence and National Security 27 (5): 721-737.

Leigh I 2012. ‘Balancing Religious Autonomy and Other Human Rights Under the European Convention’ Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 1:109-126.


Reports: Official

‘Parliamentary and Specialised Oversight of Security and Intelligence Activities in the United Kingdom’,contribution to the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) -European University Institute (EUI) study on Parliamentary oversight of civilian security and intelligence agencies in relevant EU member states and other major democracies for the European Parliament Directorate-General Internal Policies of the Union – Directorate C – Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs (2011), pp. 290-301.

Research Interests

  • Implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998
  • Local government law and politics
  • National security law
  • Religious Liberty

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


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