Biography

Murray Hunt has been a Visiting Professor in Human Rights Law since January 2011.  He has been the Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament since March 2004.  He studied law at Oxford and Harvard Law School and before taking up his current role 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.

In Parliament, he advises 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 recent 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 on the subject and initiated an international process exploring the scope for internationally agreed Principles and Guidelines on the Role of Parliaments in Protecting the Rule of Law and Human Rights.  It is currently assisting the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in preparation for a Panel Discussion on the Contribution of Parliaments to the UN human rights system which will take place in the UN Human Rights Council in June 2016.

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.

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