Newcastle Law School

Staff Profile

Colin Murray

Senior Lecturer in Law



Colin joined Newcastle University's Law School in December 2006 following the completion of his postgraduate research at Durham University. Prior to this appointment Colin held temporary teaching positions at Durham and Sheffield Universities. He is a founding contributor to the blog Human Rights in Ireland and has also written for The Guardian. A selection of Colin's research papers is available on SSRN, and his research has fed directly into several Government Consultations and Parliamentary Committees across a range of public law issues.


LLB (Hons.) Dunelm (2004)

Mjur Dunelm (2006)

PGCert Advanced Studies in Academic Practice (2009)

Esteem Indicators

Colin served as specialist adviser to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill (June to December 2013), assisting the Committee’s deliberations over the UK's response to adverse judgments from the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of prisoner voting.

Colin was awarded a Newcastle University Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 for his pastoral support to students in his role as Undergraduate Degree Programme Director.

Colin co-convened (2012-2015) the SLS Civil Liberties Subject Section with Alex Williams (Durham) and Kirsty Hughes (Cambridge).  

Colin served as Director of Newcastle Human Rights Research Group from 2009-2011.

Colin received a formal commendation from Newcastle University's Vice Chancellor for Excellence in Teaching in 2011.

Colin was a Visiting Scholar at the PluriCourts Centre, University of Oslo, in 2015. 

Roles and Responsibilities

SLS Council Representative for Newcastle University (2013-Present) 

HaSS Faculty Programme Liaison Officer (2015-Present)

Previous Roles and Responsibilities

Degree Programme Director Undergraduate Studies (2012-2014) 

Induction Coordinator (2009-2012)

Mooting Coordinator (2007-2011)

Deputy Degree Programme Director Undergraduate Studies (2007-2009, 2011-2012)

Year 3 Stage Tutor (2007-2010)

Staff Representative, Staff-Student Committee (2007-2010 and 2012-2014)

Law School Webmaster (2012-2013)

Law School Library Committee Representative (2008-2013)

HaSS Faculty Representative, University Higher Education Achievement Report Committee (2010-2011)


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Newcastle Forum for Human Rights and Social Justice

Member of the Newcastle Military War and Security Research Group

Member of the Society of Legal Scholars

Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association

Member of the UK Constitutional Law Association 

External Examiner Appointments

University of Liverpool, School of Law and Social Justice (2015-present)

Association of International Accountants (2007-2010)


Research Interests

Colin's current research is focused in the fields of national security law, legal history and public law. This work has fed into official consultations on prisoner voting rights, the office of Lord Chancellor, drone strikes, Northern Ireland and "Brexit" and the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia. His work concentrates on the concepts of citizenship and allegiance and of their increasing significance in legal discourse. Colin's current research examines the UK Government's use of "Good Citizenship" justifications to deny prisoners the right to vote. Other ongoing projects examine the relationship between the law of treason (together with other historic political offences) and 21st century counter-terrorism legislation.

Invited Presentations/Keynote Lectures

C. Murray (and A. O'Donoghue), “From Fragmentation to Constitutionalisation in the United Kingdom and Global Legal Orders”, PluriCourts Seminar, University of Oslo, 18 March 2015.

C. Murray, “A Delegation or a Derogation of Responsibility? The Role of Parliament in the UK's experience of ECHR Derogations”, MultiRights Workshop, University of Oslo, 13 March 2015. 

C. Murray (and A. O'Donoghue), “Of Hierarchies and Hegemonies: Courts, fragmentation and Constitutionalisation”, Durham Law School, 25 February 2015.

C. Murray, “Friendly Fire: Prisoner Voting Rights and Media Perceptions of Human Rights”, Human Rights in the Media Conference, Liverpool Law School, 19 September 2014.

C. Murray, “The need to field a Long Stop: The Courts and the Right to Free and Fair Elections", Study of Parliament Group Seminar, 18 June 2014.

C. Murray, “Judging, Nudging, Fudging? The Counter-Terrorism Jurisprudence of the UK Courts since 9-11”, Durham University Human Rights Centre Seminar, 23 April 2013.  

C. Murray, “Back to the Future: Tort Law’s ability to address Large-Scale Human Rights Abuses”, Sunderland University Staff Seminar, 5 March 2013.

C. Murray, “The Mau Mau Torture Claims: Tort Law's (Not so) New Frontier”, Durham University Law and Conflict Group Seminar, 15 November 2012. 

C. Murray, “The UK and Diplomatic Protection: No Great Leap into the 21st Century”, British Institute of International and Comparative Law 20th SLS International Law Section Conference: “Diplomatic and Consular Protection in the 21st Century”, 3 May  2011.

C. Murray, “Democratic Dialogue and the ongoing saga of prisoner disenfranchisement”, Durham University British Academy Conference: “The Human Rights Act - 10 years on”, 24 September 2010.

Conference Presentations

C. Murray, “Innovation and Improvisation in Times of Crisis: The United Kingdom's Response to the Brogan Judgment”, Newcastle University: “Law and Innovation”, 11 May 2016.

C. Murray, “Constitutionalism Triumphant? Transnational assimilation of counter-terrorism Jurisprudence”, London School of Economics: “Law, Justice and the Security Gap”, 20 June 2014.

C. Murray, “Chasing Phantoms: Proscription of Organisations under the Terrorism Act 2000”, Bristol University: Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, 11 September 2012.

C. Murray, “Out of the Shadows: The Courts and the United Kingdom's International Counter-Terrorism Relationships”, Newcastle University: “After bin Laden”, 2 May 2012. 

C. Murray, “Broken Duties? The Holy Cross Case and Policing amidst Transition in Northern Ireland”, Durham University: “Transitional Justice and Restorative Justice: Potential, Pitfalls and Future”, 16 September 2011.

C. Murray, “International Counter-Terrorism Co-operation from the United Kingdom’s Perspective”, Sussex University, SLSA Annual Conference, 12 April 2011.

C. Murray (and K. J. Brown), “Socrates is Dead: Developing Interactive Law Lectures using Educational Technology”, Sussex University, SLSA Annual Conference, 12 April 2011.

C. Murray, “Guantánamo Bay, Diplomatic Protection and Allegiance”, University of Westminster: “After Guantanamo Bay: Perspectives on the War on Terror”, 22 January 2010.

C. Murray, “The Problems with Proscription: Banning Terrorist Organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom”, Pace Law School (NY), Pace International Law Review Annual Conference:National Security Across the Globe”, 14 November 2009.

C. Murray, “Citizenship, Allegiance and Rights in the United Kingdom”, Keele University: Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, 8 September 2009.

C. Murray (and M. Enright), “Suspect Communities: Tracing the Concept of Loyalty in Counter-terrorism Law”, University College Cork Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights Conference: ‘The promise of law: political claims and the boundaries of justice’, 30 April 2009.


2016 - £9975 ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund Grant (with Dr Aoife O'Donoghue (Durham), Dr Sylvia de Mars (Newcastle) and Mr Ben Warwick (Durham)) on the project "Constitutional Conundrums: Northern Ireland, the European Union and Human Rights"

2013 - £1150 Society of Legal Scholars Activities Fund Grant to support archival research on the development of statutory restrictions upon immigrants in the UK in the twentieth century. 

2012 - £7000 Higher Education Academy Teaching Development Grant to support the creation of a student-led law review.

2010 - £5000 Newcastle University Innovation Fund (with Dr Kevin J. Brown) to fund research into the use of interactive learning technology to enhance lectures.

2010 - £2000 Modern Law Review Seminar Fund to support the Newcastle Human Right's Research Group's one-day symposium "Human Rights - A Drop of liberation or a Fig-Leaf of Legitimation".

2009 - $1000 Pace Law School, NY to support attendance at the Pace International Law Review 2009 Symposium "Comparative Constitutional Law: National Security Across the Globe".


Colin's research-led teaching focuses on the intersection of Public Law, Criminal Law and National Security policy. His teaching practice makes extensive use of in-class quizzes, response devices and discussion of video materials. He is committed to his students making a contribution to academic debate, establishing the North East Law Review in 2013 to showcase the very best student coursework. His contribution to teaching in the Law School has been formally recognised by a Vice Chancellor's Commendation (2011) and by a Teaching Excellence Award (2014).  

Undergraduate Teaching

LAW1120 Public Law (Stage 1).

LAW3035 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Law (Stage 3) (Module Convenor).

LAW3040 US Constitutional Law (Stage 3).

Colin has previously taught on Criminal Law (Stage 2) and Legal Institutions and Methods (Stage 1).

Postgraduate Supervision

Colin supervises postgraduate students working on public law projects, particularly those focused on national security and counter-terrorism law.  

Completed Supervisions:

Martine Wade - The use of executive detention as a counter-terrorism power

If you would like further information on reading for a research degree at Newcastle Law School please see