Department of Social Sciences

Visiting address
302 Duchesne, Digby Stuart

Biography

Dr Katie Boyle is a constitutional lawyer specialising in human rights at the international, regional, domestic and devolved level with a particular focus on the justiciability of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights in the post-conflict context. Katie completed her PhD at the University of Limerick (Ireland) where she examined and categorised legitimate and viable justiciability mechanisms for economic, social and cultural rights in Northern Ireland. ESC rights address rights relating to employment, housing, education and health. They also more broadly protect vulnerable and marginalised groups. Research undertaken by Dr Boyle has identified that violations of ESC rights are often left unadressed in the post-conflict context making the transition to peace more difficult. The categorisation of justiciability mechanisms outlines routes to remedy for such violations within the particular constitutional and transitional justice framework of a post-conflict state. The contribution of this work addresses the socio-economic deficit of conflict and the fragile transition to peace. It also contributes to discussions on the status and incorporation of ESC rights in constitutions on a comparative international level. This work has most recently featured in submissions to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in relation to the status and protection of ESC rights in the UK.

Before being appointed as Senior Lecturer Katie was based in the Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research at the University of Roehampton where she worked as postdoctoral Lead Researcher on a project examining UK compliance with human rights law for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The culmination of various strands of this project is due to be laid before the UK Parliament by the Secretary of State in 2015.

Prior to this Katie was an ESRC Research Fellow at the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (School of Law, University of Edinburgh). Katie worked on the Future of the UK and Scotland programme where she examined the legality and legitimacy of the Scottish independence referendum process in the event of both a yes and no vote. Katie and Professor Stephen Tierney published widely on the matter with a view to contributing to an informed and deliberative transitional constitutional process. The analysis and methodology employed focussed on measuring the process against principles of deliberative democracy.

Katie has lectured at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at the University of Limerick and the University of Edinburgh. Subjects taught include the Comparative International Protection of Human Rights Law (Masters level), Public and Constitutional Law, Land Law and Medical Law.

Katie is also a qualified constitutional lawyer. She qualified as a solicitor with the Government Legal Service for Scotland where she worked as legal advisor and litigator in the Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament, the Office of the Advocate General (the UK Law Officer in Scotland) and the Scottish Government Legal Directorate. In this role Katie specialised in the application of human rights within the devolved constitutional framework.

Katie also works as a legal and research consultant and has produced a number of reports and UN submissions for national human rights institutions.

Qualifications

2014 Ph.D. University of Limerick, Anna Lindh Fellow, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland Ph.D. Thesis: Legitimate and Viable Justiciability Mechanisms for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Northern Ireland as a Conflicted Democracy

2009 Glasgow Graduate School of Law, Diploma in Legal Practice, Glasgow

2008 Masters (First Class) Traditional Music Performance, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick

2007 LLB ML Joint Honours Law and French, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

2005 Diplôme approfondi de langue française, Ministère de l'éducation nationale, France

2002 Diplôme avec mention, L'Université Paul Valery, Montpellier, France

Research interests

Transitional Justice
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Constitutional Transitions
Constitutionalisation of Human Rights
Deliberative Democracy
Land Destitution
Peace and Reconciliation

Research projects

2015 British Council Postdoctoral Research Links Scheme: Land Destitution and Transitional Justice in Colombia

2014-2015 UK Equality and Human Rights Commission: United Nations Measurement Framework, Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research

2015 Scottish Human Rights Commission: A Human Rights Based Approach to Tackling Poverty

2015 Scottish Human Rights Commission: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Scotland

2015 Scottish Human Rights Commission: Submission to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

2013-2014 Economic and Social Research Council Future of the UK and Scotland Programme, Scottish Independence Referendum: A Democratic Audit

2012 Scottish Human Rights Commission: Scotland's National Action Plan

Professional affiliations

Economic and Social Rights Academic Network for the UK and Ireland (ESRAN-UKI)
Transitional Justice and Land Destitution Academic Network
Council of Europe European Social Committee Human Rights Research Network
European Peace Liaison Office, Brussels, Belgium
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Initiative, Ireland
Law Society of Scotland
Irish Association of Law Teachers

Consultancy work

Katie has undertaken a number of consultancies as both a Legal and Research Consultant/ Expert including:

  • 2014-2015 UK Equality and Human Rights Commission: United Nations Measurement Framework, Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research
  • 2015 Scottish Human Rights Commission: A Human Rights Based Approach to Tackling Poverty
  • 2015 Scottish Human Rights Commission: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Scotland
  • 2015 Scottish Human Rights Commission: Submission to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • 2012 Scottish Human Rights Commission: Scotland's National Action Plan

As above

Teaching

Dr Boyle has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Limerick and the University of Roehampton. She is currently responsible for designing, developing and lecturing in Property Law at undergraduate level and a number of human rights modules at postgraduate level.

Previous subjects taught include the Comparative Protection of International Human Rights (postgraduate Masters level); Public Law; Constitutional Law; Civil Liberties; Human Rights Law at International, Regional (EU and Council of Europe), National (both Ireland and the UK) and devolved level (Human Rights at sub-state level - Scotland and Northern Ireland); Human Rights for Community Development; Land Law; Company Law (to the Revenue Commissioners); Music and the Law including Intellectual Property (Masters Level); Lawyering Skills (negotiation, mediation, advocacy, legal drafting, advocacy and pleadings); Law of the European Union; and Medical Law

Links

Research outputs

  1. Re-conceptualising Socio-economic Rights in Transitional Justice Societies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A Tale of Two Europes, Scotland, the UK and Europe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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