Professor James Sweeney


Research Overview

Prof. James A. Sweeney’s research is about the after-effects of conflict and authoritarianism: principally in respect of human rights, transitional justice, and the rights of refugees. Recent works have included a study of the 'right to truth' about historical atrocities in comparative international human rights law; and a British Academy-funded examination of the role of the news media in setting and challenging the historical record of the secession of Kosovo from the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in the absence of a functioning truth commission.

Prof. Sweeney has acted as an expert advisor to the Council of Europe in relation to freedom of assembly projects in the former Yugoslavia and former USSR. He has delivered human rights legal training to the judges of the Ukrainian Supreme Court and the Constitutional and Supreme Courts of Kosovo, on behalf of the FCO. With the UN he has delivered training in Kosovo on media reporting of conflict-related sex and gender-based violence.

His work on 'credibility' of testimony in asylum applications, and on the human rights of failed asylum seekers, has been cited at the highest levels of the UK judiciary.

Prof. Sweeney joined Lancaster University Law School in 2013. Prior to that, he has worked at Durham, Newcastle and Hull universities.

  • CILHR Centre for International Law and Human Rights
  • Security Lancaster
  • Security Lancaster (Policy, Law and Ethics)
  • Security Lancaster (Sociology)