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Assistant Professor in Law in the Durham Law School+44 (0) 191 33 43174
Assistant Professor in Law in the Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)


Office: PCL 147

Office Hours: Wednesday 15:00-16:00, Friday 14:00-15:00

Benedict Douglas attempts to work out what it means to be human and what this means for the place of human rights within the UK Constitution. When not reading or writing, this often looks suspiciously like he is gazing absentmindedly into space.

He completed a PhD at Durham, unfortunately putting the thesis synopsis into the title box on the form. Before this, as a result of excellent and patient teaching, he had gained a First Class Law Degree from the University of Hull, after which he spent a fascinating year at University College London obtaining an LLM in Human Rights Law.

His first academic article highlighted the absence of human dignity in UK human rights law, and explained the origin and effect of this oversight in the context of the initial hostility to the Human Rights Act. After Dr Tom Hannant pointed out there was more work to do, Benedict published a subsequent article analysing the moral basis of the UK Constitution and its relation to the widely accepted foundation of human rights in individual freedom. This article revealed that the Constitution’s conception of people as duty bearers explained the domestic political duty-based anti-Human Rights Act rhetoric, and some judicial interpretations of human rights.

After Dr Henry Jones described him as the department hippy, and realising we define ourselves by our relationships as well as our choices, Benedict wrote an article looking at the relationship between love, the law and human rights.

He is currently using phenomenology to critique the UK Constitution against our nature as human beings.

He welcomes PhD proposals related to his present or past research, or the use of phenomenology to analyse any area of law. He currently supervises: 

  • Felix Boon who is writing a cutting edge PhD on causation liability for automated vehicles.
  • Joy Twolome who is writing a fascinating PhD on the phenomenology of human rights.

Benedict also enjoys water sports, adventure and writing in the third person.

Reseach Groups

The Center for Ethics and Law in the Life Sceinces
The Human Rights and Public Law Centre

Teaching Areas

Introduction to English Law and Legal Methods
UK Constitutional Law
Tort Law

Research interests

  • Domestic and Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Phenomenology
  • Jurisprudence


Chapter in book

Journal Article



Supervision students