PhD Researchers

Amanda Kramer

Amanda Kramer is a final year PhD student in the SAmanda Kramerchool of Law. Her thesis is being completed under the supervision of Professor Brice Dickson and Dr. Alex Schwartz, and is entitled, The Extent to which the Laws and Policies of Mali, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are Determined by their Status as Former Colonies. Her research interests include public international law, human rights, international criminal law, the United Nations, and legal theory. She has published in the Queen’s Political Review and co-authored an article published in the Irish Yearbook of International Law. She has also employed as a Lecturer, teaching Introduction to Criminology at the University of Ottawa in 2014.

Conor McCormick

Conor McCormickConor is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast (LLB, 1st Class Hons, 2013) and Ulster University (LLM, Distinction, 2014). He began his PhD research on ‘The Future of Fundamental Laws in the UK’ at Queen’s University Belfast in 2015 under the supervision of Professors Gordon Anthony and John Morison. His research will interrogate ongoing and upcoming challenges to UK public law, including its devolutionary arrangements; its commitment to European integration; its role in globalisation; and its human rights machinery. His thesis will critically examine the judiciary’s recent development of fundamental laws – laws that are said to have their basis in the common law and which have constitutional significance – together with an analysis of their future conceptual relevance. He is interested in discerning the value and legitimacy of common law constitutionalism. Conor has published research on legal theory, social security law, public interest litigation and local government reform. He has also taught criminal law and worked in research roles for members of the judiciary and the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

Allison McAreavey

allisonAllison previously studied at Ulster University gaining an Access Diploma (2006), LLB Hons with Criminology (2012), and LLM in Clinical Legal Education (2014).  She taught Introduction to Employment Law at Ulster University in early 2015 and has now commenced her first year of PhD research on the use and potential of body-worn cameras for policing purposes under the supervision of Professor Brice Dickson, Dr Paul Miller and Dr Fabian Schuppert.  Her thesis shall explore whether body-worn cameras are an effective means by which to gather best evidence that may lead to greater efficiency within due process and whether same means can be reconciled with human rights requirements.

Biljana Kotevska

BKotevskaBiljana holds an LL.B from the University “St. Cyril and Methodius” (Macedonia), MA in Democracy and Human Rights in South-East Europe from the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the University of Bologna (Italy), and an LL.M in International Human Rights Law (with distinction) from the University of Essex (United Kingdom). In 2015 the School of Law at QUB awarded her the postgraduate research studentship in order to conduct research on addressing and overcoming intersectional inequalities via equality laws and policies in EU candidate countries (focusing on Macedonia and Serbia), and the potential and the role of NHRIs in relation to this. As a research student at QUB, she works under the supervision of Prof. Dagmar Schiek and Prof. Christopher McCrudden. Biljana is the country expert on Macedonia in the European Commission’s Network of Legal Experts in Gender and Non-discrimination.Before coming to QUB, she worked as a researcher for over eight years (mainly for think-tank organisations in Western Balkans and in Europe), and as an expert and consultant for IGOs (EU, CoE and OSCE) and NGOs (mainly from Macedonia) on equality and non-discrimination, ESCR, and minority rights. She has been awarded three individual research grants and three full scholarships, including a Chevening Scholarship by the FCO. Her main research interests are: equality and non-discrimination, European Human Rights law, minority rights, NHRIs and other mechanisms for Human Rights protection.

Sarah Craig

Sarah graduated from Queen’s with an LLB in 2014 and is due to graduate with an LLM in Human Rights Law in December 2015. She is a first year PhD candidate within the School of Law at Queen’s under the supervision of Professor Colin Harvey and Dr Kathryn McNeilly. Her research focuses on the protection of fundamental rights within Europe with regards to refugees and asylum seekers. Specifically, the role of the ECtHR and the CJEU and also the impact of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

Andrew Deaney

Andrew holds an LLB in deaneyLaw and an LLM in Human Rights and Criminal Justice from Queen’s University Belfast. He is currently researching the relationship between Ulster Unionism and human rights. He is interested in the history of Unionism’s engagement with human rights issues, from the NI Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, to the Twaddell Civil Rights Camp of today. In particular, he is examining this engagement from the standpoint of current realist theories as to how, why and when particular political groups deploy rights based argumentation.

Rachel Killean

Rachel is currently completing hers200_rachel.killean PhD, titled Victims, Professionalisation and International Justice: A Critical Examination of the Civil Party System in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) under the supervision of Professor Kieran McEvoy and Dr Anne-Marie McAlinden. Her research interests are victims’ rights, international criminal law, human rights, procedural justice and victimology. She has published in the Journal of International Criminal Justice and co-published in the Irish Yearbook of International Law, and has an upcoming article in the International Criminal Law Review. She was involved in the HRC’s submission to the International Criminal Court with regards to reparations for victims, and is currently working on a submission to the ECCC regarding reparations for minority ethnic groups.

Asma Amro

Mrs. Amro received her MA degree iasman Human Rights and Human Development in 2012 from the University of Jordan with a focus on Islam and Human Rights. Her PhD research project (Human Rights and the Right-less, the Case of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon) is under the supervision of Professor. Colin Harvey and Professor. Jean Allain. In her research project she is investigating the fundamental refugee rights that states should respect regardless of their adherence to the International refugee instruments and how the state sovereignty interferes to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of Syrian refugees in both Jordan and Lebanon. Mrs. Amro’s professional experience included working under human rights protection programs that covered socio-political, educational, and health fields for children, youth and women projects, serving diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds of both refugees and local citizens. Positions and programs include Senior Program Associate with Freedom House on “Torture: Never Justified” regional program and CORE regional program. Research assistant with Centre for Strategic Studies Amman-Jordan.

Ivanka Antova

Ivanka is a third year PhD candidate in the QUB Law School. She has a BSc in Politics &  International Relations (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2010), and a LLM in Human Rights Law (QUB, 2010). Ivanka is working on an exploration of the effect the ongoing welfare reform is having on the citizenship  and socio-economic rights of disabled people in the United Kingdom. She has a strong interest in legal/critical theory, disability studies and human rights. Ivanka is also a member of the Disability Research Network at QUB and has worked alongside the disability NGO Campaign For a Fair Society for a number of years, with a focus on substantive equality for disabled people and academic activism.

Ao Zhang

Ao is a graduate of the National Police University of CPicture-Ao Zhanghina (LLB), Ulster University (BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice) and the Queen’s University of Belfast (MSc Criminology). His doctoral research will address ‘whether women in prison fare better in China’ by performing a qualitative analysis of the Chinese female prisoners’ experience in two chinese female prisons. He will investigate the current prison lives of female prisoners in mainland China, particularly looking at the treatment of Chinese female prisoners during their incarceration. By adopting the international human rights treaties and non-treaty standards, particularly the Standard Minimum Rules of the Treatment of Prisoners (SMR) and the ‘Bangkok Rules’, as a measure of best practice, Ao’s research aims to examine the level of experiences of females’ imprisonment, looking in particular at prison condition, procedure, culture and how these ‘play out’. Due to the fact that current Chinese academia and legislations continue to widely ignore the gender-specific considerations of female prisoners, the primary fieldwork and empirical analysis in two Chinese female prisons are able to contribute to theoretical discussion within the context of the penology and provide more effective guidance for prison practice.

Eithne Dowds

HRC PicEithne Dowds is a final year PhD candidate in the School of Law at Queens.  Her thesis is entitled ‘A Comparative Analysis of the Evolution of the Definition of Rape in International Criminal Law’ and is being completed under the supervision of Professor Jean Allain and Dr Natasa Mavronicola. Her research interests are criminal law (international and domestic), human rights, feminist theory and rape law.  Eithne is committed to human rights in Northern Ireland having volunteered for the Human Rights Consortium and the Committee on the Administration of Justice.  She has also acted as a Consultant on a project with Rights Watch UK.

Róise Connolly

HeadshotRóise Connolly holds an LLB in Law from Queen’s University and an LLM with Distinction in Law, Medicine and Healthcare from The University of Liverpool. Under the supervision of Dr Mark Flear and Professor Thérèse Murphy, Róise’s PhD research project is entitled ‘Morality and Monopoly: Exploiting Illness and Legitimising Death in the Developing World’. Stemming from the notion that multilateral agreements which strengthen intellectual property rights can negatively impact upon global health, her thesis will critically examine the interaction between intellectual property rights, human rights and bioethics. Róise received a DEL scholarship to carry out this research from 2015 to 2018. Róise is also interested in humanitarian law and is currently working with the QUB Human Rights Centre on an analysis of the Draft Articles on ‘The Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters’. This will be submitted to the International Law Commission in 2016.

Ben Christman

Ben ChristmanBen is a PhD candidate in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast. His research examines the legal response to fuel poverty in the UK from an energy justice perspective, and seeks to find ways to use the legal system to eradicate fuel poverty. He has a law degree from the University of Aberdeen and an LLM in environmental law and policy from University College London. His research interests include access to justice, environmental, climate and energy justice, human rights, energy law, fuel poverty and climate change. He has forthcoming publications which examine the relationship between human rights law and fuel poverty in the UK, and explore the human rights based approach to climate change as an approach to climate justice in Scotland. His publications can be found on his page here.