The School of Law has a lively community of postgraduate students undertaking research in a wide variety of legal fields.
LLB Law, Queens University Belfast.
LLM in Human Rights Law (with Distinction), Queens University Belfast.
Research Title: 'Landlord and Tenant; a Contractual or Proprietary Relationship?'
As an undergraduate student Louise developed a keen enthusiasm for property law and in her PhD research returns to an issue of particular interest; that of the nature of the relationship existing between a landlord and his tenant.
Due to its historical development, the law of landlord and tenant incorporates elements of both property law and the law of contracts, and as a result of conflicting jurisprudence there is ambiguity over which set of principles forms the basis of a relationship. Consequently it appears that the rights and obligations of each party to a lease are ill-defined; a lack of clarity that poses problems clearly demonstrated in the event of a dispute between the two, where the application of each set of principles to the same problem produces very different solutions. In addressing this issue, Louise will investigate the evolution of the landlord and tenant relationship, analyse contemporary caselaw on the matter and turn to international resources for assistance, with particular emphasis on Australian and American authorities. As an issue of immense practical significance, and one which will inevitably come before the courts in the future, it is Louise's desire to provide clarification and authority upon which the matter can finally be resolved.
LLB (Ling. Franc.) Law and French (Trinity College Dublin) 2001
MSc Equality Studies (University College Dublin) 2004
Claire commenced her doctoral studies in October 2006. Her research consists of an examination of the ability of courts and the judiciary to effect social change when issues relating to economic and social rights arise before them. The particular focus of her research centres on an examination of the human right to water as set out in General Comment 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and how this interacts with the justiciability of this right in domestic legal systems.
Claire completed her LLB in Law and French in 2001 and her Masters in Equality studies in 2004. In 2005 she spent six months as a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town where she studied South African Human Rights Law. Prior to commencing her PhD she worked in the Irish Human Rights Commission. Her broader research interests relate to human rights and equality more generally.
LLB (University of Dublin Trinity College)
LLM Human Rights Law (Queens university Belfast)
Research Title: Hybrid Courts: A New Legacy for a New International Criminal Justice?
David completed his masters in 2008, winning the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission prize for the best LLM dissertation and graduating with distinction. In 2009 he took and passed the New York State Bar examination before spending three months as an intern at the International Criminal Court. Following his work at the court, and to further explore the themes identified in his masters dissertation, David joined the PhD program in October 2009 and aims to research in the area of international criminal and transitional justice. In particular, David will be assessing the changing legacy of international criminal justice through the use of hybrid and internationalised tribunals and jurisdictions.
MA Legislative Studies and Practice QUB, 2010
LLM Corporate Governance and Public Policy (with Distinction), QUB, 2009
LLB Law and Human Resource Management, University of Ulster, Magee, 2007
Postgraduate Certification of Education, Open University, 2006
Postgraduate Diploma in Translation, Chartered Institute of Linguists, 1994
BA German, University of Reading, 1986
PhD Project: Costs Protections in Private Law
Access to civil justice has been severely impacted by recent reform to civil legal aid entitlement. This research identifies costs protections available to ordinary citizens involved in private law disputes and explores how ordinary citizens can afford to access the civil justice system.
LLM Human Rights and the Environment (Access to Environmental Justice)
After a first career as a teacher and professional translator of German, Mary has pursued interdisciplinary academic interests. Previous dissertation themes include: family law (leave to remove and Article 8 rights), public procurement (contracting out of government employability programmes), political science education (evaluation of postgraduate experiential learning programmes) and legislative processes (effectiveness of parliamentary committee inquiries, approaches to sustainable transport policy making). In 2009 she was awarded a Northern Ireland Assembly Commission Bursary and worked as an Assistant Assembly Clerk on the staff of the Committee for Regional Development http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Visit-and-Learning/External-Liaison-Unit/Bursary-Programme/Past-Students/). Her current studies are funded by a DELNI PhD scholarship award.
Mary has recently been co-opted as a Board Member of AutismNI. She also works as Assistant Editor at the European Journal of Law and Technology. (http://ejlt.org/). Mary is a member of German-Irish Lawyers and Business Association (GILBA)/Deutsch-Irische Juristen und Wirtschaftsvereinigung e.V. (DIJW) and the Political Studies Association.
LLB Law with Politics, Queen's University Belfast (1st class honours)
LLM Human Rights and Criminal Justice, Queen's University Belfast (with distinction)
Having graduated from LLM studies in Human Rights and Criminal Justice in 2010, Kathryn began doctoral studies at Queen’s University Belfast in October 2011. Kathryn is interested in the broad research areas of feminist philosophy, critical legal theory and human rights. Her doctoral research seeks to consider the way in which subjectivity for women under human rights discourse translates from international to local levels and the possibilities which exist to engage with a radically democratic theory of rights. In this analysis Kathryn is using the work of feminist and queer theorist Judith Butler which provides astute and often under-considered tools of analysis for legal theorising. Using Butlerian analysis Kathryn’s project hopes to contribute towards the contemporary rethinking of human rights and consideration of the manner in which rights operate to create and sustain gender identities.
Thomas L Muinzer
Masters in Legal Science (with Distinction ), Queen's University Belfast
LLM in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development (with Distinction), Queen's University Belfast
MA in Irish Literature, Queen’s University Belfast
Diploma in English Literature, Queen’s University Belfast
BA English (Major) / Ethnomusicology (Minor), Queen’s University Belfast
In late 2011 Thomas took up the DEL Strategic Priority Studentship project “Governance for the Low Carbon Transition: The Impact of Devolution”. This three-year study investigates the impact of devolution on governance of the national low carbon transition. Scrutinising the pan-UK energy sector, it examines in particular whether devolution is facilitating (/ can facilitate) diversity in policy approaches whilst also enabling sufficient policy coherence across the UK to ensure delivery of the national vision set out in the UK Climate Change Act 2008 and associated legislation. In tandem with these primary issues, the study investigates the extent to which the structures, processes and practice of devolution are facilitating or hindering regional compliance with legal targets set at national and EU levels for intensified use of renewable energy, greater energy efficiency and the exploration of other low carbon technology.
Law: Charles Byrne
Muinzer, Thomas L, “A Grave Situation: An Examination of the Legal Issues raised by the Life and Death of Charles Byrne, the ‘Irish Giant’” International Journal of Cultural Property (2013) 20:23-48.
--. with Len Doyal, “Why the Royal College of Surgeons should respect the wishes of ‘the Irish giant’”, British Medical Journal 2011; 343:d7597 (On burial law and ethics)
--. with Len Doyal, “Authors’ Reply to Moore and Smith and Colleagues”, British Medical Journal 2012; 344:e557
--. with Len Doyal, “Bury the ‘Irish Giant’: a rapid response to some positive rapid responses” 1 February 2012,
--. with Len Doyal, “Bury the ‘Irish Giant’: a rapid response to some positive rapid responses” 1 February 2012, 1 February 2012, http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2012/02/01/re-should-skeleton-%E2%80%9C-irish-giant%E2%80%9D-be-buried-sea-0
--. with Len Doyal, “The Hunterian Museum will continue to display Byrne’s skeleton: poor arguments for a sad decision” 17 February 2012, http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7597/rr/568181
Muinzer, Thomas L., “Sustainable Development Law in the UK: From Rhetoric to Reality?” (Review), Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 2012; 14(4): 473-476.
Muinzer, Thomas L., “A Critical Examination of the International Community’s Ability to turn International Environmental Treaties into Environmentally Useful Action” Queen’s Political Review (2013) 1: 43-56.
Turner, Sharon, Richard Macrory and Thomas L Muinzer (Research Assistant), Environment and Land Transportation Law: UK Report (Report on UK Transportaiton for EU Avosetta Meeting, Fribourg, 23rd-24th November 2012).
Research Assistant on Conway, Co-Ownership of Land (2nd edn, 2012) published by Tottel Publishing, Dublin
Winner, Society of Legal Scholars Annual Essay Prize 2010 for paper “The Ethics of Propertising the Human Body”
Winner, Masters in Legal Science dissertation prize 2011 for paper “Does EU Law Provide Adequate Protection for Cultural and Historical Rights?”
Author, On Ethics (Ireland: Lapwing Press, 2011). The book develops Thomas’s MA research on Aestheticism, the late Victorian arts movement that advocates making an “art out of life”, updating the philosophy in the context of present day Ireland as ‘New Aestheticism’.
Title: Imposing civil liability for invasions of privacy in light of developments under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Aoife graduated from the Masters of Legal Science degree at Queen’s University in 2009. She began her doctoral research in September 2010. Her thesis will explore the impact that the Human Rights Act 1998 has had on the English law of privacy. The primary focus will be on how the law has developed to provide a remedy in cases where an individual’s privacy has been invaded by another private individual. The research will consider recent developments in European Human Rights law in the areas of privacy and freedom of expression and question whether the English common law is capable of keeping up with these developments. The project will also have a comparative law element: Aoife will explore how civil liability is imposed for invasions of privacy in other common law jurisdictions to see if there are any lessons that English law might benefit from.
Title-Quasi Nationalisation of UK Banks and the Mortgage Repossession Crisis
Louise's doctoral thesis examines the remedies open to a private mortgage lender in the event of borrower default and questions the viability of these remedies where the lender involved is a nationalised/tax-payer funded bank. In the course of her research, Louise will be using the currently nationalised bank Northern Rock as a case study and will consider the conflicting interest which manifests as a result of nationalisation between the bank, the defaulting borrower and indeed the banks current debtor-the taxpayer. Should it be seen to be repossessing so vigorously those same borrowers who have paid taxes which have been used to bail the bank out? Furthermore, Louise's research will examine the potential role of the Human Rights Act 1998 and whether it can offer any assistance to the deafaulting borrower where the lender in question is publicly owned and therefore may theoretically be interpreted as a 'Public Authority' for the purposes of the 1998 Act.
Bachelor in Laws (LL.B), Trinity College Dublin (2008)
LLM in Human Rights and Criminal Justice (Cross-Border), Queen’s University Belfast and NUI Galway (2009)
Working Title: The Right to Life in European Conflicts
Before starting the PhD Hannah worked as a legal researcher with human rights organisations based in Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Palestine and the Syrian Golan. She returned to the world of academia in March 2011 to conduct research on the right to life in European conflicts. Focusing on Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, her research poses questions including: What obligations should be contained within the right to life? How far should these obligations extend? Does Article 2 of the ECHR offer adequate protection of this right in times of conflict? Is it time for a new right to life focused document that can be applied during such conflicts? If so, what form would such a document take? Her research adopts a case study approach focusing on the conflicts in the Basque Country, Chechnya, Northern Ireland and South-east Turkey.
B.A (Psych), ATI, Dip L.S, LLB (Hons) Irish Law, LL.M (Hons) International Human Rights Law
Claire-Michelle's research centres on the status of social and economic rights in the Republic of Ireland and seeks to address whether the European Convention on Human Rights could be utilised to further the development of these rights domestically.
She is a lecturer in Law and Ethics in Griffith College Dublin and a Teaching Fellow in Dublin City University and is a regular contributor to human rights blogs and academic journals.
LLB First Class (Single Honours) Law QUB 2009
Title : Premarital contracts - a favourable alternative to judicial discretion on divorce?
During her undergraduate degree, Sharon became fascinated with matrimonial law. After preparing a project on the law surrounding prenuptial agreements in her final year, she was fortunate to receive the Northern Ireland Law Society prize for best research paper. Sharon graduated in 2009 and in October of the same year she commenced her PhD studies. She is interested in studying the impact of marital contracts on divorce as an alternative to judicial discretion. In particular, Sharon wishes to undertake a comparative study of prenuptial agreements and consider whether or not it would be appropriate to make such agreements binding in the UK.
LLB with Government University of Ulster 2008
LLM Trinity College Dublin 2009
Title : 'The Application of Criminal Liability to On-Field Incidents occurring in Field Sports - A Public Policy Issue, to be examined from the perspective of Participants, Administrators, Supporters and Legislators.'
Daniel completed his Master's research on the topic of criminal liability regarding on-field violence in the area of field sports in Trinity College in 2009. The title of his thesis was 'Should What Happens on the Pitch Stay on the Pitch?'
Following on from this master’s research, his doctoral research will develop the application of criminal liability to sporting activity to include a significant level of analysis of the topic from the perspective of the individual participant in field sports and the relevant governing bodies for such sports. His supervisors are Dr Jack Anderson and Dr. Niamh Howlin
LLB Law, QUB, 2008
MSSc Criminal Justice, QUB, 2009
Working title: Investigating the representation of vigilantism in the media in the UK
Glenn completed his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University of Belfast, during which he received a scholarship from the Business Education Initiative to spend a year studying at the University of Indianapolis, Indiana. Following this he undertook a Masters at QUB, with his dissertation investigating vigilantism and how it has been depicted in the medium of comic books.
This guided him towards his current research which focuses on the depiction of vigilantism in the media, with specific reference to the policing role fulfilled by paramilitary organisations during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Glenn hopes to look at mainstream media channels and their representation of this vigilantism, and compare this with the paramilitaries’ own depiction of their actions via media outlets such as An Phoblacht and Loyalist News.
Over the course of Glenn’s research he also hopes to look at ‘missing media’ – looking at why current programs employed by organisations in Belfast to seek non-violent methods of informal justice are generally ignored by the media; and also fictional media depictions of vigilantism in Northern Ireland.