Dr Katie Boyle

Associate Professor Int Human Rights Law

Law Stirling

Dr Katie Boyle

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About me

Dr Katie Boyle is a qualified constitutional and human rights lawyer and Associate Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Stirling. She has published extensively on economic and social rights law and served as Expert Advisor to NGOs, governments, parliaments and the United Nations. She is co-Director of the MSc in Human Rights and Diplomacy. This is the only Human Rights and Diplomacy programme in the world taught in partnership with the leading training body of the United Nations: the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Dr Boyle's research address violations of economic, social and cultural rights. ESC rights relate to issues such as housing, health care, education, employment and social security. Her recent monograph, "Economic and Social Rights Law: Incorporation, Justiciability and Principles of Adjudication" (2020), features as part of the International Association of Constitutional Law Emerging Scholarship Series, (available at https://bit.ly/2Nf32zw ).

Dr Boyle has led a number of funded projects with the Economic and Social Research Council, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, and the Nuffield Foundation. She is currently Principal Investigator of a UK wide project funded by the Nuffield Foundation (£338,000.00) to examine the accountability gap in access to justice for social rights in each of the UK's jurisdictions.

Dr Boyle was appointed as an expert on the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership in 2018. The group's remit was to consider how Scotland can be an international leader in human rights and its recommendations are being implemented by a National Task Force. Dr Boyle now advises the National Task Force as a member of the Academic Advisory Panel. Other recent expert appointments include Scotland's UNCRC Incorporation Advisory Group and working with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing on access to justice issues. Dr Boyle's research was cited by the United Nations here: https://undocs.org/A/HRC/40/61

Dr Boyle has worked nationally and internationally on ESC rights during periods of constitutional transition including work funded by the British Academy in Colombia and Brazil. Her research is now being translated into Spanish as part of the Chilean constitutional referendum process. Dr Boyle has been appointed as National Reporter to the International Congress of Comparative Law in Paraguay (2022) by the British Association of Comparative Law. Her work has featured in reporting procedures to the UN and she has worked with national human rights institutions, including most recently with the Scottish Human Rights Commission on a project exploring the incorporation of international human rights law in Scotland (see here: https://www.scottishhumanrights.com/media/1809/models_of_incorporation_escr_vfinal_nov18.pdf ).

Prior to joining Stirling Dr Boyle qualified as a constitutional lawyer with the Government Legal Service for Scotland before completing a PhD at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Previous appointments include ESRC Research Fellow, Centre for Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh and Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Roehampton, London.


Research Funding Award, Economic and Social Research Council
Collaborative PhD Award with Scottish Human Rights Commission and University of Glasgow, 2019-2022 £50,000

Research Funding Award, Economic and Social Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
Human Rights in Transition, UK in a Changing Europe, 2016, £10,000

Research Funding Award, Is Britain Fair? The state of equality and human rights
Equality and Human Rights Commission
2015, £135,000

Research Funding Award, Nuffield Foundation, Access to Justice for Social Rights: Addressing the Accountability Gap
The Nuffield Foundation
2019-2022, £338,000

Research Funding Award, Scottish Human Rights Commission
Models of Incorporation and Justiciability for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2018, £14000

Visiting Fellow, Essex Human Rights Centre
University of Essex
Human Rights Centre

Visiting Fellow, Mansfield College, University of Oxford
University of Oxford

Visiting Research Fellow, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University Ireland Galway
National University of Ireland - Galway

Appointment to Academic Advisory Panel to the National Task Force on Human Rights Leadership
Scottish Government

Appointment to First Minister's Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership
Scottish Government
Appointed to advise the First Minister on incorporation models for economic, social and cultural rights.

Appointment to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Incorporation Advisory Group
Scottish Government and Scotlands Commissioner For Children & Young People

Visiting Researcher, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford
University of Oxford

Community Contribution

Consultant, Independent Review of Administrative Law, Human Rights Consortium
Expert advice on the Independent Review of Administrative Law:

Expert Advice, Right to Adequate Housing
Scottish Government
Scottish Government

Expert Advice, Scottish Mental Health Law Review
Expert advice on economic, social and cultural rights

Event / Presentation

Human Rights and Devolution: Devolution as a Vehicle for Human Rights Protection and Progress

Human Rights Consortium Scotland, 6 September 2021

A New Human Rights framework for Scotland? Models of Incorporation and Justiciability for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
United Kingdom (UK) Government and Scottish Government
Invited Speaker, Government Legal Service, 13 February 2019

Scottish Parliament, Equalities and Human Rights Committee, Human Rights Reform in Scotland
Invited Evidence Session (Oral), 29 March 2018

Principles of Social Rights Adjudication
Conference Presentation, ESRANUKI, University College London, 6 December 2018

Re-conceptualising constitutionalism and deliberating economic and social rights: legitimate and viable alternatives in contemporary constitutional theory
Socio-legal Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Lancaster, 7 April 2016

Social Rights Adjudication in the UK and Comparatively, State Capacity and Inequality
Universidade de Brasilia and The British Council
Conference Presentation, British Council Newton Fund, Brazil, 15 September 2017

The Role of Human Rights Law in Responding to Austerity
Ulster University
Invited Speaker, 20 May 2019

UK National Reporter, 'The justiciability of economic social and cultural rights'
Invited speaker, appointed by British Association of Comparative Law, International Congress of Comparative Law, Paraguay 23-28 October 2022

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing , New York
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Invited Evidence, Incorporation and Justiciability: Access to Justice for ESC Rights, April 2019

Incorporating International Human Rights in Scotland, Scottish Human Rights Commission
Invited Speaker, Edinburgh, 21 May 2018

House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee, Human Rights Implications of Brexit
UK Parliament
Oral Evidence (invited), 26 March 2019

Ad Hoc Committee on Bill of Rights, 'Comparative, International and Devolved Best Practice'
Northern Ireland Assembly
Written Evidence

Ad Hoc Committee on Bill of Rights, Oral Evidence
Northern Ireland Assembly
Invited Evidence Session (Oral) 17 September 2020

Chair, Beveridge’s five giants revisited from a human rights perspective, Institute of Health and Society, 24 April 2019
Newcastle University

Challenges and Innovative Solutions to Human Rights Reform
United Kingdom (UK) Government and Scottish Government - Governance & Communities - Legal Services
Invited Lecture, Government Legal Service for Scotland, 23 February 2021

Constitutionalising a Social Minimum
University of Edinburgh
Global Justice Academy and International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain, 29 June 2017

Access to Justice for Social Rights: Addressing the Accountability Gap
Conference presentation, Social and Legal Studies Association, online, 27-30 March 2021

Dealing with Land Destitution and Structural Inequalities in Transitions
The British Council
Javeriana University, Bogota, Colombia, 25-28 February 2015

Developments in Human Rights: Implications of Constitutional Change
Invited Speaker, Scottish Public Law Group Annual Conference, Edinburgh 13 June 2016

Economic and Social Rights Law, Incorporation, Justiciability and Principles of Adjudication
Invited Speaker, International Association of Constitutional Law: Emerging Scholarship in Social Rights (Book Series), 18 February 2021

Equalities and Human Rights Committee, UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill
Scottish Parliament, Oral Evidence, 12 November 2020

Equalities and Human Rights Committee, UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill,
Scottish Parliament, Written Evidence , 12 November 2020

Expert Roundtable with Judiciary, Human Rights Leadership Forum, Judicial Institute
Invited Speaker, Edinburgh, 10 September 2018

External Examiners and Validations

Irish Research Council

International Board of Assessors

Economic and Social Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
Peer Reviewer

Professional membership

Society of Legal Scholars

Solicitor (non-practicing)
Law Society of Scotland

Just Fair, Economic and Social Rights NGO

Higher Education Academy

Coordinator/ Director, Economic and Social Rights Academic Network (UK and Ireland)

Council of Europe, European Social Committee, Human Rights Research Network

Professional qualification

Constitutional and Human Rights Lawyer
United Kingdom (UK) Government, UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

Qualification as constitutional and human rights lawyer with Government Legal Service for Scotland