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James Sweeney supervises 5 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor James Sweeney


James Sweeney

Lancaster University

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 594263

Research overview

Prof. James A. Sweeney’s research is about the after-effects of conflict: principally human rights in transitional democracies, and the rights of refugees. His latest article is a comparative study of the 'right to truth' in international human rights law.  It became one of the top-10 most-downloaded ICLQ articles of 2018.  He recently completed a British Academy-funded project on 'Transitional justice and transitional journalism': the principal publication is forthcoming.  His monograph, 'The European Court of Human Rights in the post-Cold War Era: Universality in Transition' was published in hardback by Routledge in November 2012, and in paperback in 2014.

Prof. Sweeney has acted as an expert advisor to the Council of Europe in relation to freedom of assembly projects in the former Yugoslavia and former USSR. He has delivered human rights legal training to the judges of the Ukrainian Supreme Court and the Constitutional and Supreme Courts of Kosovo, on behalf of the FCO.  With the UN he has delivered training in Kosovo on media reporting of conflict-related sex and gender-based violence.

His work on the human rights of failed asylum seekers was cited by the House of Lords in the case of R (on the application of M) v Slough BC [2008] UKHL 52, by the Court of Appeal in R. (on the application of SL) v Westminster City Council [2011] EWCA Civ 954, and most recently in R. (on the application of Refugee Action) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1033 (Admin).  Throughout 2009 he acted as an expert advisor to the EU's Committee of the Regions as it prepared its Opinion on reforms to the Common European Asylum System.

Prof. Sweeney joined Lancaster University Law School in 2013.  Prior to that, he has worked at Durham, Newcastle and Hull universities.  From 2011-2013 he was founding Deputy Director of Durham Global Security Institute

PhD supervision

Prof. Sweeney is available to supervise research in the fields of international and European human rights law; international refugee law; and transitional justice. Prof. Sweeney also has an interest in some aspects of the law of armed conflict (IHL) and international criminal law. Please enquire for further details.

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