Photo of Brid Ni Ghrainne

Dr Brid Ni Ghráinne

Position: Lecturer
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6867
Room No: AF05
Feedback and Consultation Availability: You can book an appointment online to see me

Academic Profile

I joined the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in Law in August 2014, where I research, supervise, and teach in the field of Public International Law and Refugee Law. I am also a lecturer on the MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies (distance learning) at the University of London. I have held visiting lecturer positions at Shandong University, Weihai, China; the University of Helsinki; and the University of Cyprus.

I completed my doctorate at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professor Guy S. Goodwin Gill, where my research focused on the relationship between the protection of Internally Displaced Persons and International Refugee Law. My research was funded by the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer scholarship, the Peter Birks scholarship, the University of Oxford Graduate Assistance fund, and the National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship. While at Oxford, I coached the Oxford Jessup moot court team, taught International Law and Human Rights to visiting undergraduate law students, and worked as a research assistant in the areas of Human Rights Law and Law of the Sea. I also hold an LLM cum laude from Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands.

Prior to commencing my doctoral studies, I worked as a researcher in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and completed a judicial clerkship at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.


  • DPhil, University of Oxford
  • LLM, Universiteit Leiden
  • Diploma in Legal French, Law Society of Ireland
  • Bachelor of Civil Law (International), National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Diploma in Legal Irish, National University of Ireland, Galway

Teaching and Learning

In my experience, there is a link between the teacher’s interest in the subject and the students’ willingness to engage and learn. Forging this link is central to my teaching philosophy and thus I strive to incorporate my research into my teaching where possible. I also employ active learning techniques in my teaching such as debates, moot courts, and simulation of UN bodies. These activities develop skills such as research, oral argument, and collaboration, all of which are vital to my students in their future careers as lawyers. In recognition of my use of active learning techniques in the classroom, I have won the University of Sheffield Students’ Union ‘employability award.’

The modules I teach are:

Undergraduate Postgraduate
Foundations of International Law Law of International Organisations
Advanced Issues in Public International Law Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law
Special Project: International Mooting

Research Interests

  • General Public International Law
  • Refugee Law
  • Forced Migration
  • European Protection of Human Rights
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • Treaty Interpretation
  • Non-State Actors in International Law
  • Law of the Sea
  • State Responsibility

Member of the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law Research Cluster

Areas of Research Supervision

  • Public International Law, particularly Treaty Interpretation, State Responsibility, and Non-State Actors
  • Refugee Law
  • Forced Migration and Internal Displacement
  • Human Rights Law

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • ‘Europe, Abortion and International Law’, Legislating from Strasbourg: How International Human Rights Law Influences Domestic Legislation, CEELI Institute, Prague, 6 February 2017.
  • ‘Ireland, Abortion, and International Law’, (with Aisling McMahon), American Society of International Law Research Forum, University of Washington, Seattle, 12 November 2016.
  • ‘Safety Zones and Refugee Law: A Critical Analysis’, Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, University of Oxford, 9 September 2016.
  • ‘Stateless Children and International Law’, (with Aisling McMahon), American Society of International Law Research Forum, University of Washington, Washington DC, 23 October 2015.
  • ‘Safety Zones in Countries of Origin: A Violation of International Law?’, Refugee Law Initiative Seminar Series, University of London, 8 November 2015.
  • ‘Collective Responsibility for Migrants at Sea: A Comparison with South-East Asia’, 18th Irish European Law Forum, University College Dublin, 9 October 2015.
  • ‘Whose Subjects, and Subject to Whose Laws? Stateless Children and Surrogacy Agreements’, (with Aisling McMahon), Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, University of York, 3 September 2015.
  • ‘Who can become a Party to Treaties? A Case Study of Palestine’s Accession to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights’, European Society of International Law Research Forum, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 14 May 2015.

Key Projects/Grants

Title/Description: Seminar grant: Environmental Displacement in 2017 – Current Protection Challenges
Awarding Body: Migration Research Group, University of Sheffield
People Involved: Brid Ni Ghráinne, Thekli Anastasiou
Dates: 16 June 2017
Amount: £1,000
Title/Description: Seminar grant: Re-Interpreting the Refugee Definition: Global Displacement in 2016
Awarding Body: Migration Research Group, University of Sheffield
People Involved: Brid Ni Ghráinne
Dates: 8 June 2016
Amount: £753.50
Title/Description: Travelling Studentship in Law
Awarding Body: National University of Ireland
People Involved: Brid Ni Ghráinne
Dates: September 2011 - August 2014
Amount: €42,000

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • Editor, Refugee Law Initiative Working Papers Series, University of London
  • Doctoral Affiliate, Refugee Law Initiative, University of London
  • Lecturer, MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies (distance learning), University of London
  • Consultant, Greenpeace South Asia

Key Publications

Journal articles


  • Ni Ghrainne BA () The 2015 Andaman Sea Boat ‘Crisis’: Human Rights and Refugee Law Considerations In Benedek W & Saloman S (Ed.), Blurring Boundaries: Human Security and Migration View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • Ni Ghrainne BA (2015) Internally Displaced Persons. In Max Planck Encycopedia of Public International Law Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download