Research

Elizabeth's research interests lie primarily within international human rights and comparative law, with a particular emphasis on the development and application of European minority rights law.  Her research to date has focused primarily on culture, identity and language issues within a minority rights framework.

Elizabeth began her research career working on a project funded by the Northern Ireland Central Community Relations Unit on integration and separation in divided societies.  Since then her research has focused on how culture, identity and language issues are addressed in such contexts, focusing in particular on the use and effectiveness of relevant European, international and domestic legal frameworks.  Her published work has focused specifically on education rights and language rights as an integral part of European and international standards on human and minority rights, as well as general themes emerging - eg on the development of a generic approach to the development of minority rights in Europe and on the relationship between security and more-justice-oriented approaches.  An international and comparative approach is taken to her work in this area, which draws upon the work of political philosophers and sociologists working in the areas of minority rights, culture and equality.  Previous work has considered the role of cultural, identity and language rights in a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights (2009 and 2010) and  in any future UK Bill of Rights.  Her work therefore also engages with national constitutional law and processes of internalizing ruman rights norms.  Elizabeth has published in a range of international interdisciplinary journals, including the International Journal on Minority and Group Rights (2010), Focaal Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (2010),  the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (2012) and the Journal on Ethno-politics and Minority Issues in Europe (2016).  Her most recent funded project was one commissioned by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on cultural rights in post-conflict societies.  This involved a doctrinal analysis of relevant international standards, a literature review drawing upon relevant sociological literature and engagement with relevant actors and stakeholders through semi-structured elite interviews.  The findings were presented and considered at an international conference on this theme organised by the Commission in cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights in July 2013.   Different ways of sharing of languages, values, beliefs, histories and narratives was a key element of the ensuring debate, as well as the role of parades, flags, symbols, emblems and dealing with the past. 

PhD/Postgraduate Supervision: Elizabeth is particularly keen to supervise DPhil students who intend to focus on the following areas: culture, identity and language rights; rights to religious freedom; European and international minority rights law; the internalization of human rights law, including through domestic Bills of Rights, and regional and international human rights systems.  

Current PhD Supervision

Isilay Taban, application of 'new' minority status to Syrian Kurdish 'refugees' in Turkey (50%, joint supervisor)

Haydar Karaman, right to conscientious objection in the Turkish military (50% - joint supervisor)

Michele Wilkinson, PT, Travellers and Unauthorised Encampments (50% - joint supervisor)

Thomas Southerden, ESRC 1+3 funded student, migrants’ human rights in the UK, (50% - joint supervisor)

Previous DPhil/PhD Supervision

Suliman Alkharashi, Criminal Justice Rights in Saudi Arabia, completed 2015 (20% - second supervisor)

Khalid Alhaiyaf, The Role of the Gulf Cooperation Council, graduated 2014 (20% - second supervisor)

Katya Salmi, Race Discrimination and French Political Culture, graduated 2012 (50% - joint supervisor)