Murray Hunt

Visiting Professor


Murray Hunt has been a Visiting Professor in Human Rights Law since January 2011. He has been the Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law since 2017, and the UK's alternate member of the Council of Europe's Commission for Democracy Through Law (the Venice Commission) since 2019.

Murray was previously the Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament from 2004 to 2017. In Parliament, he advised the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) and drafts reports to Parliament on the human rights compatibility of Government Bills, the implementation by the Government of human rights judgments (including judgments of the European Court of Human Rights), the UK’s compliance with international human rights treaties and significant human rights issues of national concern.  Examples of Reports of the JCHR on which he worked can be found here.

Murray’s publications cover a wide range of public law and human rights issues, but focus in particular on the national implementation of international human rights norms, the capacity of the common law to provide the necessary normative foundation for such national implementation, and the importance of democratic considerations in any contemporary account of public law and human rights.  His most recent book, Parliaments and Human Rights: Redressing the Democratic Deficit (2015), is a collection of essays which seek to address directly the growing and genuinely-held concern, in the UK and elsewhere, that the institutional arrangements for the protection of human rights suffer from a democratic deficit, and considers how a more democratic model of human rights protection could be achieved.

His current research interests focus on the role of parliaments in the protection and realisation of the rule of law and human rights.  He currently leads an AHRC funded research project on Parliaments, the Rule of Law and Human Rights which is focused on strengthening the rule of law and human rights by finding ways of bringing them into the heart of the political process and embedding them in democratic institutions.  The project has convened international conferences and UN side events on the subject, in collaboration with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Universal Rights Group, the Commonwealth, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, UN member states, and other partners.  One of the aims of the project is to build the international consensus necessary to underpin some internationally agreed principles on Parliaments and Human Rights. In 2018 a set of draft Principles was published in a report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Murray studied law at Oxford and Harvard Law School and before taking up his role as Legal Adviser in Parliament he practised as a barrister for 12 years, specialising in public law and human rights.  As a barrister he appeared in numerous cases concerning human rights in both the European Court of Human Rights and the UK’s higher courts.

Murray teaches an annual seminar course on the role of parliaments in the European system of human rights protection on the Human Rights Law course.