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Dr Elizabeth O'Loughlin

Associate Professor in Public Law and Human Rights


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor in Public Law and Human Rights in the Durham Law SchoolPCL124+44 (0) 191 33 42834


Dr Elizabeth O’Loughlin joined Durham Law School as an Assistant Professor in Public Law and Human Rights in 2019. She has previously worked at City University, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Leeds. She has held visiting positions at Melbourne Law School, where she was a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow in Comparative Constitutional Law, and at the Kenya Section of the International Commission of Jurists in Nairobi. She holds a PhD from the University of Manchester, where she worked on a European Research Council-funded study entitled ‘A Sociology of the Transnational Constitution’. She also holds an LLM (by research) from the European University Institute and an LLB from the University of Leeds. During her time at Manchester, she was founding director of the Manchester International Law Centre’s Women in International Law Network.

At Durham, Elizabeth teaches on public law and human rights modules across the undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes. She served as co-director of the Human Rights Centre between 2019-2021 and was Director of Undergraduate Admissions in 2020-2021. She is co-convenor of the Public Law Section of the Society of Legal Scholars. 

Elizabeth is a public lawyer who researches in the fields of comparative constitutional law and English administrative law (in which she is developing an independently funded profile). Her comparative work has focussed upon constitutional reform in Kenya. Her administrative law work employs empirical approaches to the understanding of judicial reivew. She actively engages in the judicial reform landscape in the UK, and is commonly called upon for her expertise in empirical approaches to administrative law, having been invited to deliver training on designing legal content analysis studies to the Research Team of the Public Law Project, and to sit as an academic member of their seminars on evidence in judicial review reform. In 2021, in her role as co-director of the Durham Human Rights Centre she co-hosted a public event with the Independent Human Rights Act Review Panel.

Elizabeth is presently working on two research projects. First, she is expanding her doctoral research on constitutional reform in Kenya, with a particular focus upon the role of constitutional adjudication in responding to the long shadow cast by colonialism in the new constitutional order. Second, she is presently Principal Investigator on a Nuffield Foundation-funded project entitled Transparency and Judicial Review: An empirical Study of the Duty of Candour . This multi-method project will provide key insights into how the duty of candour operates in practice, generating a robust evidence base to inform practice and policy development. As part of the project, she is managing two Postgraduate Research Associates to deliver a systematic content analysis empirical study of the duty of candour in judicial review decisions.

She welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective doctoral candidates in any of her research interests.


Research interests

  • Empirical approaches to public law
  • UK Administrative Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • The relationship between International law and Constitutional Law

Research groups

  • Durham Centre for Law and Philosophy
  • Human Rights Centre

Esteem Indicators

  • 0000: Co-convenor, Society of Legal Scholars Public Law Section:
  • 0000: DLS Staff Award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion:
  • 0000: Melbourne Law School Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship: Funded by the Australian Research Council, and awarded to outstanding female doctoral and female early career researchers.


Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Wheatle, Se-shauna & O'Loughlin, EA (2023). Diverse Voices in Public Law. Diverse Voices. Bristol University Press.

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • O'Loughlin, EA, Tan, G & Somers-Joce, C (2022). The Duty of Candour in Judicial Review: The Case of the Lost Policy.
  • Kirkham, R & O'Loughlin, EA (2018). What Do Judges Actually Do in Judicial Review? An Argument for Systematic Studies. Blog.


  • O'Loughlin, EA, Somers-Joce, C & Tan, G (2023), Duty of Candour and the Courts Approach to Disclosure in Proceedings, Opening the Black Box: Ensuring Transparency in Govnernment (Upskilling Lawyers' course, Public Law project). Online.
  • O'Loughlin, EA (2022), Reforms to section 3 of the Human Rights Act, Reforming the Human Rights Act 1998 (Durham Human Rights and Public Law Centre). Online.
  • O'Loughlin, EA (2022), The Duty of Candour: Inside the Black Box, Public Law Project Judicial Review Forecasts and Trends Conference 2022. London.
  • O'Loughlin, EA (2021), Content Analyses of Judicial Decision-Making, panel on Theory and Methods in Legal Research, Society of Legal Scholars Conference. Durham Law School.
  • O'Loughlin, EA & Kirkham, R (2020), Examples of Bespoke Ombudstyle Jurisprudence, Administrative Law Scholarship and Doctrinal Realities: Are Our Intellectual Frameworks Fit for Purpose?. Faculty of Law, Oxford.
  • O'Loughlin, EA (2019), The Emancipatory Potential of International Law in Domestic Courts: A Case Study of Kenya, Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference 2019. Leeds.
  • O'Loughlin, EA (2019), Inclusive Constitution, Administrative Inertia, Mediating Judiciary? Law and Politics on the Land Rights of the Ogiek Community of Kenya, Symposium on New Regimes of Recognition and Distribution? Identity Politics in post-2010 Kenya. British Institute of Eastern Africa, Nairobi
  • O'Loughlin, EA (2018), Constitutional Adjudication of Land Injustices in Kenya: at the Frontiers of Public Law, Melbourne Public Law Conference. Melbourne Law School.


  • Blackbourn, J, Douglas, B, Fenwick, H, Frantziou, E, Kagiaros, D, Masterman, R, McHarg, A, O'Donoghue, A & O'Loughlin, EA (2022). Submission to the Ministry of Justice consultation on Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill Of Rights.
  • Douglas, B, Fenwick, H, Frantziou, E, Kagiaros, D, O'Loughlin, EA, Masterman, R & Pillay, A (2021). Evidence to the Independent Human Rights Act Review, Human Rights Centre, Durham Law School.
  • Fahey, E, Odermatt, J & O'Loughlin, EA (2019). Whose Global law? Comparative, Regional and Cyber Approaches to Law-Making. London, UK, The City Law School.

Supervision students