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Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School Of Law, University College Dublin

Dr Liam Thornton is a lecturer in law the School of Law, UCD. In UCD, Liam teaches on a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Introduction to the Irish Legal System, Property Law, Immigration and Asylum Law, International Human Rights and ECHR Law. Liam was previously Director of Clinical Legal Education in UCD School of Law (2012-2015). Liam is currently Access Officer in UCD School of Law, where he is leading initiatives to ensure equitable access for all persons to UCD law degrees. Liam was appointed to the University's Widening Participation Committee in 2015.

Liam has a strong interest in social justice and law, and researches in areas relating to immigration law, social security law, European law and human rights law. Liam was previously the social security sub-editor for the Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law and has published on issues relating to human rights, social security law, children's rights and immigration law in a number of journals including the Journal of Social Security Law, the Irish Journal of Family Law, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Refuge: Canadian Periodical on Refugee Studies, the Irish Yearbook of International Law, and the Irish Law Times. In addition, Liam has published several peer-reviewed book chapters in edited book collections. Liam also has acted in a number of editorial roles, with his most recent co-edited book on The ECHR and Ireland (Bloomsbury, 2015) and previously was the Book Reviews Editor for the Irish Yearbook of International Law and co-editor of a special issue of the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly (2011) on the Convention on the Rights of the Child at 21. Liam is the co-author of two books. The ECHR and EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Irish Courts, published by the Law Society in 2015, which he co-authored with Professor Suzanne Kingston (UCD). Liam's most recent co-authored book, Fundamentals of the Irish Legal System: Law, Policy and Politics, co-authored with Dr Tanya Ni Mhuirthile (DCU) and Dr Catherine O'Sullivan (UCC). Liam has also carried out tendered research for the Law Society of Ireland, the Irish Human Rights Commission, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Odysseus Network/European Commission, as well as pro-bono research for legal practitioners and leading national non-governmental organisations.

Liam obtained a first class honours BCL (International) degree and his PhD from the Faculty of Law and the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights in University College Cork. Liam has also obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (PgCHEP) from University of Ulster and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Liam's PhD research was supervised by Professor Siobhán Mullally (UCC) and funded by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences. Liam's PhD examined reception conditions for asylum seekers in Ireland and the United Kingdom and explored the legal and administrative measures utilised to exclude asylum seekers from mainstream social assistance systems. Prior to taking up his position in UCD, Liam was Research and Policy Officer in the Irish Human Rights Commission (2008-9) and a lecturer in law in University of Ulster (2009-2012).


  • –present
    Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School Of Law, University College Dublin