Professor Aileen Kavanagh

Jeffrey Hackney Fellow and Tutor in Law

Aileen Kavanagh is a Professor of Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law and has been a Fellow of St Edmund Hall since 2009.

Aileen did her undergraduate law degree and a Masters in political philosophy at University College Dublin, followed by a Masters in comparative constitutional law at the University of Hanover (Germany). She did her DPhil at Balliol College, Oxford on the doctrine of the living constitution, which was funded by the British Academy and a National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship.

Aileen has published widely in the areas of constitutional law, administrative law, constitutional theory and human rights. Her book Constitutional Review under the UK Human Rights Act 1998 (Cambridge University Press, 2009) was shortlisted for the Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2009. In 2014-15, she held a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for research on collaborative constitutionalism.  She is on the editorial board of the journal Law and Philosophy and is on the advisory board of the Constitutional Studies Group, National University of Ireland (Dublin).  She is currently working on a book called The Collaborative Constitution, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Aileen teaches Constitutional law, Administrative law and Jurisprudence to undergraduates in the College, and she teaches constitutional theory and comparative constitutionalism at postgraduate level for the Faculty of Law. Aileen welcomes applications from research students in any of her subject areas.


A Kavanagh, Constitutional Review under the UK Human Rights Act 1998 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
A Kavanagh & J Oberdiek (eds), Arguing About Law (Abingdon: Routledge-Cavendish, 2008)


‘The Lure and Limits of Dialogue’ (2016) 66 University of Toronto Law Journal 83-120.
‘A Hard Look at the Last Word’ (2015) 35 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1-23.
‘What’s so Weak about ‘Weak-Form Review’? The Case of the UK Human Rights Act 1998’ (2015) 13 International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON) 1008-1039, with Reply from Professor Stephen Gardbaum as part of an ‘ICON-Debate’.
‘What’s so Weak about ‘Weak-Form Review’? A Rejoinder to Stephen Gardbaum’ (2015) 13 International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON) 1049-1053.
‘Proportionality and Parliamentary Debate: Exploring Some Forbidden Territory’ (2014) 34 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1-37
‘Reasoning about Proportionality under the Human Rights Act 1998: Outcomes, Substance and Process’ (2014) 130 Law Quarterly Review 235.
‘The Irish Constitution at 75 Years: Natural Law, Christian Values and the Ideal of Justice’ (2012) 48 Irish Jurist 71.

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Law (Jurisprudence)

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Law with Law Studies in Europe

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