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Research interests

Research Profile

Harriet Hoffler has a degree in Law (2005) from the University of Birmingham and an LLM in International Human Rights Law (2006). She has recently started her PhD in the School of Law at the University of Bristol in 2014 with Professor Malcolm Evans as supervisor.

Harriet has an extensive background in human rights research- both field based and desk based- working previously as lead researcher on multi-national European Commission FP7 projects with a particular emphasis on the application of international and regional human rights for minority protection in South Asia and Europe.

Harriet currently works as the Research Fellow on the Commonwealth Initiative on the Freedom of Religion or Belief where she is responsible for responsible for academic research into strategies of change that have effectively engaged with international norms to embed the freedom of religion or belief within local and national structures along wider conceptual approaches to the Freedom of Religion or Belief from a multi-disciplinary persepctive. 

IShe previously worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton on the Human Rights Measurement Framework project for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and was a contributor to the "Is Britain Fairer?" Review. Previously, Harriet has worked as a Consultant to the Humanitarian Department at Oxfam GB, where her work has been used to inform protection and livelihood field surveys in Jordan and Lebanon.

In addition, she currently holds the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor in International Law & Politics at the Richmond American University in London and Visiting Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the University of Roehampton and previously lectured at Brunel University. She has been an invited lecturer in Nepal, Italy and London to teach on international human rights summer schools. 

She has co-authored publications relating to human rights, indigenous rights and minority issues in journals such as the "Journal of Global Ethics" and the "European Yearbook on Minority Issues" with numerous credits in other books and articles in this field.

Harriet’s doctoral research concerns the “bottom-up” approach to the human rights legal framework using, as a case study, religious minorities and the freedom of religious belief in Pakistan. Inspired by her previous work as a researcher and consultant, her research specifically engages with current approaches to protection used within the international human rights regime and looks to promote a viable bottom up legal alternative for protection of rights relating to the freedom of religion in collaboration with local institutions and NGOs. 

The research intends to build the capacity of local, regional, and global actors to respond to contemporary challenges in conflict settings enabling a local and nuanced realization of human rights for the individual from a legal perspective. 



Overseas Development Agency / DFID,  






  • Credited in Rehman, J., “International Human Rights: A Textbook” 2010 for contributions towards chapters examining Indigenous Peoples, Minorities and Security/Conflict in South Asia
  • Credited in Smith, N and Widdows, H., Global Social Justice in Theory &Practice, Routledge
  • The Legal Implications of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in South Asia, co-authored with Professor Javaid Rehman, European Yearbook on Minority Issues 2010
  • Frameworks for Minority Protection under the EU, co-authored with Professor Javaid Rehman; a chapter in Reflections on Minorities, MCRG Publishing, Kolkata 2009


  • Co-Editor of the Journal of Global Ethics, Special Issue – Global Justice Vol. 5.2,  2009
  • Interview with Phil Shiner, Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 5. 2 2009


Research interests

International Human Rights Law; Freedom of Religion and Belief; Minorities; Bottom up Approaches; South Asia; Pakistan

External positions

Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

1 Jan 2016 → …


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