place holder for PGR students

Deborah Lawson

Postgraduate Research Student & Graduate Teaching Fellow

Liverpool Law School


Deborah obtained her LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, in 2017. She became a PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Fellow at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, in September 2019. She is an active member of and administrator for the European Children’s Rights Unit. Deborah is currently engaged as a research assistant on the School of Law’s ‘International Strategic Litigation Network’ project (children’s rights strand) and is supporting the development of the online series ‘Children in Theory: Theoretical Methods and Approaches for the Study of Childhood’.


Deborah’s research focuses on children’s human rights law and its applicability and effectiveness for children from Indigenous, ethnic minority or marginalised groups. She has a particular interest in theories on structural and systemic forms of violence and whether these have the potential to explain the impaired implementation of a spectrum of children’s rights.

Working thesis title

Article 19 UNCRC – Balancing Protection, Understanding Violence: Indigenous Child Protection in Colonial Settler States

Dates of study

PhD Start Date: September 2019
PhD Completion Date: September 2023


Professor Helen Stalford (Liverpool Law School), Professor Padraig McAuliffe (Liverpool Law School) and Dr Aoife Daly (University College Cork)

Research Summary

Deborah’s research concerns Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Indigenous children’s rights to be free from all forms of violence in settler colony states. She asks if this provision has the potential to engage with forms of structural violence and harms which specifically affect children from collective and cultural groups.