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Dr Neil Graffin

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in International Law
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Law School
  • The Law School
  • neil.graffin

Professional biography

Neil is a Lecturer in International Law at The Open University. Prior to this Neil studied for a PhD in Law in Queen’s University Belfast, where he also completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Neil has also worked as an Associate Lecturer with The Open University and a Teaching Assistant at Queen’s University.

Research interests

Public international law, human rights, international criminal law, international refugee law, international criminal law.

Neil's research interests are within international human rights law, asylum law and law and emotion. Within these areas of legal enquiry, he is particularly interested in the legal framework which regulates what happens after someone has been ill-treated, as well as the impact of legal processes on individuals where trauma is present. 

Neil’s PhD research concerned assessing how human rights are upheld during the time individuals are held for police interviews. It evaluated the protections afforded by Articles 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights within this setting. This research was conducted under the supervision of Professor Brice Dickson and Professor Rory O’Connell. 

Neil is currently working on research which looks at racial profiling in immigration control in Northern Ireland. He is also conducting empirical research, sponsored by the OU Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Area, which looks at the emotional impacts of working as an asylum practitioner, as well as education and training to help practitioners perform their roles. In addition, Neil is currently working on a project with the UK charity, LawCare, to develop online resources to promote psychologically healthy practices within the legal profession. As part of this project, Neil is collaborating in research which looks at means of supporting the mental health of practitioners within the legal profession. 

Teaching interests

Neil is Module Chair of W102 Law: Concepts and Perspectives. He is also a member of the Open Justice team. 

External collaborations

Neil is on the executive board of the Socio-Legal Studies Association, holding the position of Honorary Secretary. 

Neil is also currently a Guest Lecturer and Visiting Fellow of the EDELNet International Graduate School (FernUniversität in Hagen). 


Suspending the Rule of Law for Racial Minorities in Border Management: Racial Profiling in the Western Mediterranean and the Post-Brexit Irish Border (2018-10-26)
Garcia Blesa, Juan J. and Graffin, Neil
In: August Prinz von Sachsen Gessaphe, Karl; Garcia Blesa, Juan J. and Szuka, Nils eds. Legal Implications of Brexit. Hagener Rechtswissenschaftliche Schriften (2) (pp. 195-214)
ISBN : 978-3-96163-149-0 | Publisher : MV-Wissenschaft | Published : Münster