Dr Sejal Parmar

School of Law

Lecturer in Law

Sejal Parmar

Full contact details

Dr Sejal Parmar
School of Law
Bartolomé House
Winter Street
S3 7ND

Sejal Parmar is a Lecturer in Law and Director of the Human Rights Forum at the School of Law at the University of Sheffield. Since February 2022, Parmar is also the ESRC Policy Fellow in Foreign Policy and Disinformation at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Her main field of research, policy engagement, and teaching is international human rights law, with a particular focus on freedom of expression, media freedom, and digital rights.

Parmar is Deputy Director of the Sheffield Centre for International and Comparative Law (SCIEL) and Deputy Director of Research (Impact) at the School of Law, and a fellow at the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the School of Journalism. In addition, she a regular Visiting Professor at the Department of Legal Studies at the Central European University (CEU), where she was previously based as a tenured Assistant Professor, in both Budapest and Vienna.

Parmar has published broadly in the field of international human rights law, particularly in the area of freedom of expression, and is currently writing a monograph on Freedom of Expression Under Pressure (working title) under contract with Cambridge University Press. She is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Centre in London, a member of the academic constituency of the Global Network Initiative, and an expert at Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression initiative.

Parmar has considerable experience of policymaking, most notably as Senior Adviser to the Organization on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media (on secondment from the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office) and as Senior Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19 at its global headquarters in London. She has also held a number of appointments and major consultancies with various bodies of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, leading NGOs, and private sector organisations, including technology companies. In recent years, she has served as a Co-Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Combating Hate Speech (ADI/MSI-DIS) and as a consultant for the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect to develop the Detailed Guidance on the implementation of the UN Strategy and Action Plan on Hate Speech and the Guidance Note on Addressing and Countering COVID-19 Related Hate Speech.

Parmar has taught courses on international and regional human rights law at Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Edinburgh, and on EU law at University College London. She has been an EU-US Fulbright Scholar and Emile Noël Fellow at New York University School of Law, a Marie Curie Fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for International Law, and a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • LLB Law (hons), LSE
  • PhD, EUI
  • Called to Bar of England and Wales (Inner Temple)
Research interests
  • Freedom of expression in the digital age
  • Human rights advocacy
  • Disinformation and foreign policy

Supervision interests:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Media freedom and journalists' rights
  • Human rights in the digital age
  • Disinformation

Journal articles


  • Callamard A & Parmar S (2021) Norms in Conflict: The Restraints on the Emergence of a Global Free Speech Norm In Bollinger L & Callamard A (Ed.), Regardless of Frontiers Global Freedom of Expression in a Troubled World (pp. 255-274). Columbia University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Parmar S (2017) Reckoning with the past?: Rwanda's revised genocide ideology law and international human rights law on freedom of expression, Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective (pp. 94-117). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Parmar S (2015) “Uprooting ‘defamation of religions’ and the emergence of a new approach to freedom of expression at the United Nations” In Donders Y & Tarlach M (Ed.), The United Nations and Freedom of Expression and Information (pp. 373-427). Cambridge University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Parmar S (2015) The Rabat plan of action: A critical turning point in international law on “hate speech”, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Information since the Fall of the Berlin Wall (pp. 211-231). RIS download Bibtex download
  • () Equality and Non-Discrimination under International Law Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • () Holocaust and Genocide Denial Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
Research group
  • Deputy Director, Sheffield Centre for International and European Law
  • Fellow, Centre on Freedom of the Media (School of Journalism)
Teaching interests
  • International human rights law
  • The United Nations system
  • European human rights law
  • Freedom of expression
  • Media freedom
  • Human rights in the digital age
  • Human rights advocacy
Teaching activities


International Human Rights Law (Convenor)


Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age (Convenor)