Newcastle Law School

Staff Profile

Colin Murray

Reader in Public 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 taught at Durham and Sheffield Universities. Colin has written for The Conversation and The Guardian and many of his research papers are available open-access on SSRN and His research has been cited in the UK Supreme Court, and has also informed UK Government consultations and Parliamentary Committee reports across a range of public law issues. These include prisoner voting, the office of Lord Chancellor and the nature of the UK's devolution arrangements. He leads a major ESRC research project on the impact of Brexit upon governance and identity in Northern Ireland. He tweets from @performidentity (on governance in Northern Ireland), @mastermamurray (on UK constitutional law) and @tctlaw (on counter-terrorism law).


LLB (Hons) Dunelm (2004)

Mjur Dunelm (2006)

PGCert Advanced Studies in Academic Practice (2009)

Esteem Indicators

AHRC Peer Review College Member (2020-Present)

Specialist adviser to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill (2013-2014)

Co-convener of the Society of Legal Scholars' Civil Liberties Subject Section (2012-2015)

Director of Newcastle Human Rights Research Group (2009-2011)

Visiting Scholar at the PluriCourts Centre, University of Oslo (2015)

Roles and Responsibilities

Academic Mentor (2018-Present)

Seminar Series Convenor for the Regulation of Data theme on the Data NUCore (2020-Present)

Impact Lead, Newcastle Law School (2021-Present)

Previous Roles and Responsibilities

HaSS Faculty Programme Liaison Officer (2015-2019)

Law School Athena SWAN Committee (2016-2019)

SLS Council Representative for Newcastle University (2013-2017) 

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 Website Manager (2012-2013)

Law School Library Committee Representative (2008-2013, 2016-2018)

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


Senior 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 (2015-2019)

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 concepts of citizenship and allegiance and 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.

Research Funding

2019 - £252,215.26 ESRC Governance After Brexit Grant on the project “Performing Identities: Post-Brexit Northern Ireland and the reshaping of 21st-Century Governance” (with A. O'Donoghue (Durham), S. de Mars (Newcastle) and B. Warwick (Birmingham)).

2018/19 - £45,985 Joint Committee of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission  to produce high-level policy briefings on the impact of Brexit upon human rights in Ireland (with A. O’Donoghue (Durham), S. de Mars (Newcastle) and B. Warwick (Birmingham)).

2018 - £9949 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Grant (with S. de Mars (Newcastle)) on the project “Northern Ireland and Brexit: Bordering Two Unions”.

2016 - £9975 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Grant (with A. O'Donoghue (Durham), S. de Mars (Newcastle) and B. 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. 

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”.

Invited Papers and Seminars

C. Murray, ‘The Performing Identities Project’ UACES Queen’s University Belfast, 7 September 2020.

C. Murray, ‘The Constitutional Significance of the People of Northern Ireland’ Wales Governance Centre, Governance After Brexit Seminar, 8 July 2020.

C. Murray and B. Warwick, ‘Securing EU Citizenship “Rights, Opportunities and Benefits” in Northern Ireland after Brexit’, NIHRC conference at Queen’s University Belfast, 16 January 2020.

C. Murray and A. O’Donoghue, ‘Unity after Brexit? Dual Referendums under the GFA’ Queen’s University Belfast seminar, 25 July 2019.

C. Murray, ‘When the Ground Moves Beneath Your Feet: Bordering Ireland in the 1920s’ University of Lincoln Borders Conference, 10 July 2019.

C. Murray, ‘Northern Ireland’s Constitution and Brexit’, Newcastle University Brexit Conference, 17 May 2019.

C. Murray, ‘Futureland - Northern Ireland after Brexit’, Oxford University Lecture, 1 November 2018.

C. Murray, “The Tail Wagging the Dog? Good Friday Agreement as a Constitutional Treaty”, “Treaties, Brexit and the Constitution” Conference, Jesus College Oxford, 23 March 2018.

C. Murray, “One Country, Two System: Accommodating Northern Ireland in Brexit”, Warwick University Seminar, 21 February 2018.

C. Murray, “Special Status? Northern Ireland, Brexit and Human Rights”, “Northern/Ireland After Brexit: Exploring the Human Rights Impact” Symposium, University College Dublin, 3 May 2017.

C. Murray, “We’re all Plumbers Now: Miller and the Polycentric UK Constitution”, Durham Law School Symposium on the Miller Judgment, 16 February 2017.

C. Murray (and A. O’Donoghue, B. Warwick), “UK Human Rights Reform in the Northern Ireland Context”, University of Ulster Transitional Justice Institute/Human Rights Consortium Seminar, 24 May 2016.

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 Symposium on Opinion 2/13, 25 February 2015.

C. Murray, “Tort and Torture”, “Public Life of Private Law” Workshop, 10 December 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. 

Conference Presentations

C. Murray, 'Developing Northern Ireland's Distinct Constitution', ICON-S GBIE Conference, 24 April 2019.

C. Murray, 'The Strange Case of Disappearing Rights in the UK-EU Withdrawal Negotiations', Leeds University, SLSA Annual Conference, 5 April 2019.

C. Murray, ‘Strasbourg Proofing in Troubled Times’, Queen Mary University London, SLS Annual Conference, 5 September 2018.

C. Murray, “The Edge of Law: The Good Friday Agreement and Brexit”, Newcastle Law School Symposium, “Law and Politics”, 29 May 2018. 

C. Murray (and T. Frost), “Against the Dying of the Light: Public and Private Law in the Chagos Cases”, Newcastle University: SLSA Annual Conference, 6 April 2017. 

C. Murray, “Pilgrims in an Unholy Land: The United Kingdom’s Law Officers in Times of Crisis”, University of Liverpool Conference, “After Chilcot: Evaluating the Legal Implications of the Iraq Inquiry”, 8 December 2016.

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, “Tainted Legacy: Magna Carta and the Scrapping of the Human Rights Act” Newcastle University: “Dark Sides of Magna Carta” (24 July 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, “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, “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, “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, “Democratic Dialogue and the ongoing saga of prisoner disenfranchisement”, Durham University British Academy Conference: “The Human Rights Act - 10 years on”, 24 September 2010.

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.


Teaching Overview

Colin's research-led teaching focuses on the intersection of Public Law, Criminal Law and National Security policy. 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 produced at Newcastle each year.

Undergraduate Teaching

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

Colin has taught on US Constitutional Law (Stage 3), Media Law (Stage 3), Criminal Law (Stage 2), Public Law (Stage 1) 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.  

Current Supervisees:

Eva Saeva - EU and national approaches to territorial sovereignty and cyberspace 

Completed Supervisees:

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

Tim Sayer - The relationship between policy and law

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

Teaching Awards

Newcastle University Teaching Excellence Award for pastoral support for students (2014)

Commended for Excellence in Teaching in the Vice Chancellor's Awards (2011)

Teaching Funding

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 K. Brown) to fund research into the use of interactive learning technology to enhance lectures.