Meet the Expert

Dr Michelle Farrell - Moral, political and critical theory on international law and human rights

Michelle joined the School of Law and Social Justice in September 2012 as a lecturer in Law. Whilst generally working in the area of international and human rights law, her particular research interests are in moral, political and critical theory on human rights and in individual rights and the constitutional order in the face of conflict, political violence and states of emergency. At Liverpool, Michelle teaches human rights, conflict, security and the law and law in literature and film. She is a member of the Human Rights and International Law Unit.

In August 2013, Michelle published her first monograph, entitled The Prohibition of Torture in Exceptional Circumstances, with Cambridge University Press. The book contemplates how and why the use of torture in exceptional circumstances became such a central topic of debate following the events of 11 September. The book ultimately argues that the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario is a fiction which serves to render the reality of the everyday practice of torture both morally and legally invisible.

Before joining the law school, Michelle was a lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway where she also held the prestigious EJ Phelan Postgraduate Fellowship in International Law from 2011-2012. In the past, Michelle has worked for Physicians for Human Rights, Israel and for Amnesty International Irish Section. She maintains her interest in human rights promotion and advocacy and, until recently, she was blog editor for Ceartas, Irish Lawyers for Human Rights.

Michelle is especially interested in political and popular debates around human rights. In this regard, she organised an interdisciplinary seminar, funded by a Modern Law Review seminars award, on the contemporary representation of human rights and the European Court of Human Rights in the UK media. The conference was held at the University of Liverpool in autumn 2014.