SOAS University of London

School of Law

Dr Paul O'Connell

LLB (Dublin) LLM PhD (NUI)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Staff Silhouette
Centre for Human Rights Law


REF Steering Group

Academic Representative

School of Law

Law Convenor

Dr Paul O'Connell
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4712
Senate House
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Mondays 14:00 – 16:00
On Sabbatical:
Terms 1, 2 and 3 (2019/20)


Paul joined SOAS as a Reader in Law in September 2013. Prior to this he was a Reader in Law at the University of Leicester, where he worked from 2009-2013, and a Lecturer in Law at the National University of Ireland in Galway from 2005-2008. Paul’s research interests lie in the areas of Public Law, Human Rights (particularly Socio-Economic Rights), Globalisation and the Law, Critical Legal Theory (in particular Marxist critiques of law), Law and Social Change, Comparative Law and International Law.

He has published on the impact of globalisation on human rights and on the comparative protection of socio-economic rights. He is currently working on a project which critically interrogates the relationship between globalisation and human rights. In relation to this he spent the academic year 2013-2014 as a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Human Rights Program, with support from the Fulbright Commission and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. 

Paul is happy to supervise doctoral candidates wishing to work socio-economic rights, comparative law, globalisation and law and critical legal theories.



  • Public Law
  • Human Rights (particularly Socio-Economic Rights)
  • Globalisation and the Law
  • CriticalLegal Theory
  • Law and Social Change
  • Comparative Law and International Law


Authored Books

O'Connell, Paul (2017) Masking Barbarism: Human Rights in the Contemporary Global Order. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

O'Connell, Paul (2012) Vindicating Socio-Economic Rights: International Standards and Comparative Experiences. Abingdon: Routledge.


O'Connell, Paul (2018) 'On the Human Rights Question'. Human Rights Quarterly, (40) 4, pp 962-988.

O'Connell, Paul (2018) 'Law, Marxism and Method'. tripleC, (16) 2, pp 647-655.

O'Connell, Paul (2018) 'Human Rights Contesting The Displacement Thesis'. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, (69) 1, pp 19-35.

O'Connell, Paul (2011) 'The Death of Socio-Economic Rights'. Modern Law Review, (74) 4, pp 532-554.

O'Connell, Paul (2009) 'Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A Reply to Rhoda Howard-Hassmann'. Human Rights Law Review, (9) 1, pp 135.

O'Connell, Paul (2008) 'Anxious Scrutiny in the Irish Courts: Too Little, Too Late?'. Hibernian Law Journal, (8), pp 75.

O'Connell, Paul (2007) 'On Reconciling Irreconcilables: Neo-liberal Globalisation and Human Rights'. Human Rights Law Review, (7) 3, pp 483-509.

O'Connell, Paul (2005) 'The Human Right to Health and the Privatisation of Irish Health Care'. Medico-Legal Journal of Ireland, (11) 2, pp 76.

Book Chapters

Sultany, Nimer (2021) 'Marx and Critical Constitutional Theory'. In: O'Connell, Paul and Özsu, Umut, (eds.), Research Handbook on Law and Marxism. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp 209-241.

O'Connell, Paul (2013) '‘Let Them Eat Cake: Socio-Economic in an Age of Austerity’'. In: Nolan, Aoife and O'Connell, Rory and Harvey, Colin, (eds.), Human Rights and Public Finance : Budgets and the Promotion of Economic and Social Rights. Oxford: Hart.

O'Connell, Paul and Katrougalos, George (2012) 'Social and economic rights'. In: Tushnet, Mark and Fleiner, Thomas and Saunders, Cheryl, (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law. Abingdon: Routledge.

O'Connell, Paul (2010) 'Brave New World?: Human Rights in the Era of Globalisation'. In: Baderin, Mashood and Ssenyonjo, Manisuli, (eds.), International Human Rights Law: Six Decades After the UDHR and Beyond. Farnham: Ashgate.

O'Connell, Paul (2010) 'The Human Right to Health in an Age of Market Hegemony'. In: Harrington, John and Stuttaford, Maria, (eds.), Global Health and Human Rights: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 23:14 Europe/London.