Skip to main content

Professor Aoife O'Donoghue

Professor of International Law and Global Governance

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor of International Law and Global Governance of Durham Law SchoolPCL125+44 (0) 191 33 42810
Member of the Human Rights Centre 
Member of Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law  
Senior Fellow of Global Policy Institute  


Prof O'Donoghue's research centres on public international law, constitutionalism and feminism with a particular interest in global law, global governance and legal theory. Aoife's work examines constitutionalism (global), tyranny, utopias and feminism, global legal theory and international legal history.

Aoife works on theories of tyranny and tyrannicide with her CUP monograph Tyranny and the Global Legal Order coming out in 2021. Aoife also works on ideas around feminist utopias and broader work within law and literature. With Ruth Houghton, Aoife works on utopias, manifestos and global constitutionalism.

With Máiréad Enright, Aoife has co-edited and led a group of 25 academics to co-author a draft Rewrite of the Mother and Babies Home Commission Report in Ireland. This project shares a methodology with the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project that Aoife also co-led with Máiréad Enright and Julie McCandless.

With Máiréad Enright, Liam Thornton and Catherine O'Rourke Aoife is co-directing a large project with academics, artists, activists and others around questions of Northern/Ireland's feminist constitutional futures.

Aoife is also engaged with research and policy debates on Brexit with a particular focus on Northern Ireland including the ESRC funded project Performing Identities: Post-Brexit Northern Ireland and the reshaping of 21st-Century Governance. This has included a co-authored book Bordering Two Unions: Northern Ireland and Brexit and four Reports for the Northern Ireland Human Rights and Equality Commission. She works on constitutional change, including Brexit and repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 on Northern Ireland and future constitutional arrangements for the island of Ireland.

Aoife was a member of the International Law Association's working group on due diligence and her research on due diligence and international organisations was cited by the General Assembly.

Teaching and Administration

Aoife teaches across UG and PG courses including; Public International Law, Legal History, Advanced Issues in International Economic Law and Fundamental Issues of International Legal Governance.

In addition to her research and teaching commitments Aoife has been Director of PGT Admissions, Impact lead, and the Athena Swann Co-Ordinator.and was a co-founder of the Law School Research Cluster Law and and Global Justice at Durham. Aoife is a deputy director of IBRU, a member of DurhamARCTIC and a Senior Fellow of Durham's Global Policy Institute.

Aoife welcomes PhD applications within public international law, global law, feminism & international law and legal theory.

Research interests

  • International Legal & Political Theory
  • Constitutionalism
  • Feminist Theory
  • History of International Law
  • Use of Force
  • Tyranny
  • International Economic Law
  • Utopia
  • Global Law

Research groups

  • Durham Centre for Law and Philosophy
  • Gender & Law at Durham
  • Human Rights Centre
  • Law and Global Justice at Durham

Research Projects

  • Grants

Awarded Grants

  • 2019: Performing Identities: Post-Brexit Northern Ireland and the reshaping of 21st Century Governance(£29263.86 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
  • 2018: Brexit Consultancy(£16170.00 from )
  • 2018: Constitutional Conundrums(£0.00 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
  • 2016: RI160009: IAA-Constitutional Conundrums:Northern Ireland, the EU and Human Rights, ESRC, £4975.00, 2016-04-01 - 2017-09-30
  • 2016: Toward Diversity in Multilateral Organisations FCO Talent Outreach Events(£3857.00 from )
  • 2016: UN Gender Network(£38820.96 from AHRC)
  • 2014: Law and Negotiation in Conflict: Theory, Policy and Practice(£5000.00 from Modern Law Review)

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • International: Defence & disputes:
  • International: Politics, institutions & law:
  • Law & Crime:
  • Gender and law:
  • Human rights:
  • International Law:
  • International: Defence & disputes:
  • International: Politics, institutions & law:
  • Law & Crime:
  • Gender and law:
  • Human rights:
  • International Law:


Authored book

  • O'Donoghue,A (2021). On Tyranny and the Global Legal Order. Cambridge University Press.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife, de Mars, Sylvia, Murray, Colin & Warwick, Ben (2018). Bordering two unions: Northern Ireland and Brexit. Policy Press.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014). Constitutionalism in Global Constitutionalisation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • O'Donoghue, Aoife, Enright, Máiréad & McCandless, Julie (2017). Northern / Irish Feminist Judgments Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. Hart.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & McGlynn, Clare (2017). Policing Upskirting: it’s serious, not funny. Huffington Post

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2015). Report: Due Diligence in International Law.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. (2009). Report on NATO.


  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2016), Global Constitutionalism without Global Democracy, EUI, Florence.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2015), From Fragmentation to Constitutionalisation in the United Kingdom and Global Legal Orders, PluriCourts Centre, University of Oslo.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014), Due diligence obligations after conflict, International Law & Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Lancaster.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2014), Constituency and Community in Global Governance, International Law Association. Kings College, London.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife (2013), Irish Feminist Judgments Project, 'Law on the Edge’. UBC, Vancouver.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. (2008), Ireland and the WTO: Doha Tango, Society of Legal Scholars, Ireland Annual Conference. Trinity College Dublin.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife. (2005), The Good Offices of the United Nations Secretary General, Society of Legal Scholars Conference. Glasgow, Scotland, Glasgow.


  • O'Donoghue, Aoife & Enright, Mairead (eds) (2021). Draft Alternative Summary, Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation Report.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife, Murray, Colin, de Mars, Sylvia & Warwick, BTC (2020). Continuing EU Citizenship "Rights, Opportunities and Benefits" in Northern Ireland after Brexit.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife, Murray, Colin, de Mars, Sylvia & Warwick, BTC (2018). Discussion Paper on the Common Travel Area.
  • O'Donoghue, Aoife, Murray, Colin, de Mars, Sylvia, & Warwick, BTC (2018). Discussion Paper on Brexit.

Working Paper

Supervision students