Members of the Law and Non-Communicable Diseases Unit


The Unit comprises law academics who collectively specialise in a wide range of sub-disciplines relevant to the development and implementation of effective NCD prevention strategies: international human rights and children’s rights, public health, trade and investment, intellectual property, consumer, food, advertising, and European Union law.

    Professor Amandine Garde (Director)

    Amandine is one of the first academics to develop a specific expertise on the contribution that law as a discipline can make to the prevention of obesity and other NCDs. She has written extensively on the regulation of food marketing to children and the role that the European Union should play in preventing chronic diseases. The book that she has co-edited with Olivier De Schutter and Joshua Curtis Ending Childhood Obesity: A Challenge at the Crossroads of International Human Rights and Economic Law will be published in the summer of 2018. She is Senior Editor of the European Journal of Risk Regulation, and Editor of Elgar’s new series Health and the Law. Her research has attracted the attention of a broad range of non-academic actors, and she regularly advises international organisations, NGOs, public health agencies and governments worldwide. In particular, she was a member of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Science and Evidence to the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity and is lead author of a major report commissioned by UNICEF on Food Marketing and Children’s Rights (in print). She has also developed several training courses on the use of law in the prevention of NCDs. She is a qualified (non-practising) solicitor.

    Seamus Byrne

    Seamus was appointed as Lecturer in Law in August 2018. Prior to this, he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool. He is currently completing his PhD thesis entitled "Other Children, Other Voices: Education and Exclusion and the Duty to 'Progressively Realize' Children's Rights'. Seamus’ research interests lie in the area of children’s socio-economic rights and in particular the fulfilment of those rights through the concept of ‘progressive realisation’. His current research critically examines the phenomenon of school exclusions in the UK as against the duty of the State to progressively realise the right to education for children. Seamus adopts a child participatory methodology in furtherance of his research, invoking both qualitative and quantitative research tools. Seamus holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Legal Science, Politics & Sociology and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) Degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Seamus also holds an LL.M in Human Rights Law from Queens University, Belfast and a Barrister at Law Degree from the Honorable Society of Kings Inn’s, Dublin.

    Dr Amanda Cahill-Ripley

    Dr Cahill-Ripley joined the Law School in September 2019 as a Senior Lecturer in Law. She is also a Visiting Professor in International Human Rights Law at the University of Bergen Law Faculty, Norway. Dr Cahill-Ripley is an expert in international human rights law, with a specialism in economic, social and cultural rights. Her current research explores the intersections between socio-economic rights and sustainable peace, poverty and development.

    In relation to NCDs, Dr Cahill-Ripley focusses on a human rights-based approach to preventing NCDs and tackling the risk factors associated with NCDs, particularly the right to an adequate standard of living (water, food and housing) the right to health and the right to a healthy environment. She is also interested in the intersection between NCDs and environmental risks; poverty; inequality and discrimination, especially the impacts on women and the role of Global Health Law in preventing and tackling NCDs.

    Dr Cahill-Ripley also convenes and teaches the LL.M Module LAW 522 Law and Global Health.

    Dr Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou

    Dr Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou joined the University of Liverpool in 2015. His research focuses on regulation of effective international adjudication in the area of human rights. While his main expertise is relevant to the European Convention on Human Rights, his research covers such issues like interpretation of international treaties, independence of judiciary and effective collaboration between national and international institution of human rights protection. He cooperates with international inter-governmental (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe, United Nations Development Programme) and non-governmental organisations (Amnesty International, European Implementation Network) as an expert in international and European human rights law. He is Director of the International Law and Human Rights Unit.

    Nikhil Gokani

    Nikhil’s research explores at the role of law in preventing NCDs through tackling unhealthy diets, excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use. He has also worked on air pollution control. His focus is on the role of regulating the consumer information environment, particularly through mandatory product disclosures. His special interests lie in the conflation of consumer protection law and public health, and in the reduction of health inequalities. Nikhil is a regular presenter at national and international conferences, and works with international organisations, governments and non-governmental organisations as part of his advisory and consultancy work. Nikhil has been a member of several national committees, including at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Royal College of Physicians where he was also a member of the Working Party on Air Pollution, the National Institute for Health Research, and the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. Nikhil was a founding member of the Law & NCD Unit.

    Bianca Hanuz

    Bianca’s interests lie in Intellectual Property Law, with a focus on the application of copyright in the digital environment. She is currently working on her PhD thesis which discusses the problematic of online copyright enforcement. The aim of the thesis is to re-think the copyright enforcement conundrum, challenge some of the assumptions, and to provide a solution that both embraces the nature of the internet and can achieve results for stakeholders. Bianca regularly presents her research at conferences and publishes in specialist journals.

    Dr Gregory Messenger

    Greg joined Liverpool Law School in 2015 and teaches world trade law and constitutional law. Greg's research interests are principally in: public health and trade; the interface between sustainable development and trade; and the regulation of commodities in international law, including socio-historical challenges.

    Through the Law & NCD Unit, Greg has worked with the WHO and UNICEF on strategies to prevent non-communicable diseases within the framework of world trade law. He has also worked on a number of projects consulting governments on international law matters, from border delimitation to trade concessions. He is an elected Member on the International Law Association Committee on Sustainable Development and the Green Economy in International Trade Law.

    Ben Murphy

    Ben is Lecturer in Law at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, where he is a member of the International Law and Human Rights Unit and the Law & NCD Unit. Ben specialises in public international law and international human rights law generally, but recent projects have had a particular focus on the law of international organisations and the relationship between children’s rights and business actors specifically. He is co-author of a report for UNICEF dealing specifically with the impact of food marketing on children’s rights. He has been involved in several training initiatives for non-governmental organisations on the role that human rights can play in promoting health and preventing NCDs.

    Justice Osei

    Justice Osei-Afriyie is a PhD Student at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool. His doctoral thesis focuses on investment treaty arbitration and the protection of public interests regulation of developing states in Africa. Justice holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from University of Ghana, a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) and Master of Laws (LL.M) from Queen Mary, University of London. For his postgraduate studies, Justice specialised in Law and Development. Justice’s research interest is in International Economic Law with particular focus on International Investment Law, Multinational Enterprises and the Law, and the Law of the World Trade Organization. Justice is prepared to contribute to research activities which address the interface between International Investment Law and the regulation of public health in developing states in Africa.


    Niccolò Ridi

    Niccolò holds degrees from the University of Florence (LLB/LLM), the University of Cambridge (LLM), and King's College London (PhD). He is also an alumnus of the 'Silvano Tosi' Research Seminar in Parliamentary Studies.

    His main areas of expertise are Public International Law and International Dispute Settlement, as well as Private International Law. He applies doctrinal and empirical methodologies, including large-scale data mining and social network analysis, to questions concerning the work and performance of international courts and tribunals, as well as the makeup of the communities of practice that exist in and 'create' international law.


    Dr Mavluda Sattorova

    Mavluda is a senior lecturer in law at the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice. She specialises in international economic law broadly defined, with particular focus on international investment law. Her most recent work examines the interplay between investment treaty law and national policy-making. Currently she is working on a project that explores the impact of international investment law on government behaviour. Dr Sattorova’s track record of knowledge exchange and capacity building activities includes working with international organisations and think-tanks, such as WHO, UNCTAD, and Investment Treaty Forum.

    Professor Helen Stalford

    Helen is Professor of Law and director of the European Children's Rights Unit at the University of Liverpool. She has researched and published widely on issues relating to EU law and children's rights and has acted as consultant to UNICEF, the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency on a range of EU-related children's rights projects. Her current work focuses on children's access to and experiences of the justice system and she is currently co-leading two funded projects that explore different dimensions of this: an AHRC-funded project, 'Children's Rights Judgments' that re-drafts existing judgments from a range of jurisdictions from a distinctly children's rights perspective; and a European Commission funded project that observes practitioners and clients involved in 'live' cases to explore how children's rights can be brought to bear more meaningfully on the legal process.

    Dr Sujitha Subramanian

    Sujitha’s research interests include global governance and issues relating to intellectual property law. She has examined its inter-relationship with innovation policy, international trade and economic law, competition law, pharmaceutical/access to health, environmental/access to green technology, and – more recently – NCD prevention. Sujitha has also conducted research in other areas including public procurement, corruption and judicial decision-making process, particularly from a developing country perspective.

    Kirsten Ward

    Kirsten graduated from Durham University in 2012 with a First Class Honours LLB. Having been awarded the Harmsworth Scholarship (Middle Temple) and the Nottingham Law School Scholarship, she then went on to practise as a Barrister, before joining the Law School in October 2015. Kirsten’s doctoral research explores the role of fiscal mechanisms in regulating the sugar industry. She is currently analysing the trade implications of sugar taxes and their potential to combat non-communicable diseases, in particular childhood tooth decay.

    Dr Jure Zrilic

    Jure joined Liverpool Law School as a Lecturer in 2015. He gained academic experience at the University of Cambridge, Harvard Law School and Utrecht University. Jure completed his PhD at Cambridge, focusing on the protection of foreign investors in times of conflict. In 2012 Jure worked as a White & Case Fellow at the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary, University of London. Prior to that he worked at a The Hague-based NGO in the justice sector, and completed a clerkship at the Court of Appeal in Slovenia. Jure’s research interests are principally in international law, in particular international investment law, and international arbitration. His research has been published in leading journals and selected for presentation at major conferences.