Legal Advice and Litigation Capacity Building Projects and Publications Background - Helen Duffy Contact, Status and Board
human rights
in practice
Helen Duffy
curriculum vitæ      |     bio

HELEN DUFFY has practiced international law for over twenty years. She has conducted high-level human rights litigation before regional and international human rights courts and bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West Africa, UN human rights bodies, and intervened in national courts.

Helen holds the Gieskes Chair and is a Professor of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law at Leiden University.

For ten years prior to establishing Human Rights in Practice she was the Legal Director of INTERIGHTS, a strategic international human rights litigation organisation, where she remained engaged until May 2014 as Special Counsel through her human rights practice.

Prior positions include as a Legal Officer in the Prosecutors Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), where she advised on international law and was involved in the Galić case concerning the terrorisation of the civilian population during the siege of Sarajevo. Before that she was Counsel to Human Rights Watch on International Justice where she was closely involved in the negotiations that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court, and the Pinochet proceedings in London.

She was formerly the Legal Director of CALDH, Guatemala, where she undertook human rights litigation on genocide and accountability, amnesty laws, discrimination, the death penalty, and labour rights, and participated in capacity building with local communities and human rights defenders. Her early career experience was in the UK Government legal service and as Legal Adviser and later Assistant Secretary to the Lord Justice Scott’s 'Arms for Iraq Inquiry' in London.

Helen regularly lectures and publishes on international law and practice (see Publications). She teaches at the Masters-level at the universities of Leiden and Webster in The Netherlands, and is Honorary Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow.

Helen is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow (LLB Hons 1989), UCL (LLM 1990), and Edinburgh (DipLP 1991). She serves on the advisory boards of several NGOs. Her work is conducted in English or Spanish, and she has working knowledge of French.

Background - Helen Duffy