Dr James A. Sweeney, LLB (ELS)(Hons.), PGCertAP, PhD
Dr James A. Sweeney’s research is about the after-effects of conflict: principally human rights in transitional democracies and the rights of refugees. His book, 'The European Court of Human Rights in the post-Cold War Era: Universality in Transition' will be published by Routledge in November 2012. His work on the human rights of failed asylum seekers was cited by the House of Lords in the case of R (on the application of M) v Slough BC  UKHL 52, and by the Court of Appeal in R. (on the application of SL) v Westminster City Council  EWCA Civ 954.
Dr Sweeney has acted as an expert advisor to the Council of Europe in relation to freedom of assembly projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan (with the Venice Commission), Georgia, and Kosovo. In March 2011 he delivered human rights legal training to judges of the Ukrainian Supreme Court as part of a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office project. Throughout 2009 he acted as an expert advisor to the EU's Committee of the Regions as it prepared its Opinion on reforms to the Common European Asylum System.
Dr Sweeney joined Durham University Law School as a Lecturer in August 2006. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010. In 2011 he became Deputy Director of Durham Global Security Institute. He studied for his LLB (European Legal Studies) degree at the Universities of Hull and Utrecht, graduating in 1998. He returned to Hull to read for his PhD, entitled ‘Margins of appreciation, cultural relativity and the European Court of Human Rights’, which he completed in 2003. He was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Hull University Law School from 1998-2001, and a lecturer at Newcastle University Law School from 2001 to 2006.
Dr Sweeney was the founder of the 'Law and Conflict at Durham' (LCD) research cluster (with Dr Matt Saul and Aoife O'Donoghue).
UK Constitutional Law
International Human Rights Law
- European and international human rights law, especially the ‘margin of appreciation’ doctrine
- Refugee and asylum law
- 2010: Cyber warfare LOAC manual drafting meeting (£8273.00 from CCDCOE)
Essays in edited volumes
- Sweeney, James A. (2007). The ‘lure’ of facts in asylum appeals: critiquing the practice of judges. In Applying Theory to Policy and Practice: Issues for Critical Reflection. Smith, Steven R. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate. 19-35.
Journal papers: academic
- Sweeney, James A. (2012). Transitional Criminal Justice at the ECHR: Implications for the Universality of Human Rights. Baltic Yearbook of International Law
- Fox O’Mahony, Lorna. & Sweeney, James. (2010). The Exclusion of (Failed) Asylum Seekers from Housing and Home: Towards an Oppositional Discourse. Journal of Law and Society 37(2): 285-314.
- Sweeney, James A. (2007). 'A 'Margin of Appreciation' in the internal market: lessons from the European Court of Human Rights'. Legal Issues of Economic Integration 34(1): 27-52.
- Sweeney, James A. (2005). 'Divergence and Diversity in Post-Communist European Human Rights Cases'. Connecticut Journal of International Law 21(1): 1-40.
- Sweeney, James A. (2005). 'Margins of Appreciation: Cultural Relativity and the European Court of Human Rights in the Post-Cold War Era'. International and Comparative Law Quarterly 54(2): 459-474.
- Schooten, Hanneke Van. & Sweeney, James A. (2003). 'Domestic Judicial Deference and the ECHR in the UK and Netherlands'. Tilburg Foreign Law Review 11(1): 439-461.