Projects per year
My research focuses on human rights interpretation.
My core research focuses on interpretation of the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. I am interested in all aspects of this right, including cultural dimensions and its application in the socio-economic sphere. I have written a monograph entitled Dignity, Degrading Treatment and Torture in Human Rights Law: The Ends of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
I have interests in the right to human rights education, and the concept of human dignity in human rights education. Recent and on-going projects consider human rights and human dignity as understood by student teachers and student nurses.
I also have interests in the environmental governance context, including the use and impact of human rights interpretation by different actors, and in the relationship between the right to a healthy environment and the concept of human dignity. I am currently a co-investigator on the UKRI funded One Ocean Hub.
Academic / Professional qualifications
I studied Law and French Language (LLB Hons) at the University of Glasgow, International Politics (MA) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Human Rights and Democratisation (MA) at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights, Venice, Italy/Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 2010, I was awarded a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.
I have taught human rights law and public law across undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. I am the module leader for Human Rights Law in Theory and Practice at Honours level, and for European Human Rights Law on the LLM in Human Rights Law.
I have taught human rights law on classes across the undergraduate LLB curriculum and at postgraduate level. My research interests lie in the field of European and international human rights law, supra-national judicial interpretation of human rights and non-judicial interpretation at the national level. I am particularly interested in the protective human rights obligations of states and the concept of human dignity in human rights law. I completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2010, where I held an Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award.
I lead the Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law, which is a focal point for staff and student engagement in human rights law research and teaching. I am Programme Leader for the PgCert/PgDip/LLM Human Rights Law.
I am the Law School's Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
I am currently the Executive Secretary of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (since 2017), a member of the British Medical Association's Human Rights Working Group, and a member of the Scottish Human Rights Commission's Research Advisory Group.
I have been an Erasmus visiting teacher at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, and have spent time at the Institute for Human Rights and Critical Studies at KU Leuven in Belgium, as a Royal Society of Edinburgh/Caledonian Research Foundation European Visiting Fellow.
I have an interest in curriculum design and assessment and feedback practices. I am undertaking a PG Diploma in Advanced Academic Studies. I also have in interest in public engagement and participatory research.
I speak fluent French.
Expertise & Capabilities
- The prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment
- European human rights law
- Human dignity in human rights law
- Interpretation of human rights, including by civil society
- Human dignity and human rights education
- Human rights protection in Scotland and the UK
- Human rights-based approaches, including in healthcare
- Human rights interpretation and interactions in the environmental governance context
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
- human rights
- public law
- human dignity
- inhuman and degrading treatment
- human rights obligations
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15/06/20 → 30/11/21
1/03/19 → 28/02/22
Webster, E., 25 Jan 2021, Edinburgh, 19 p. (National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership: Academic Advisory Panel papers).
Research output: Working paper › Other working paperOpen AccessFile
Transformative capacity building around a right to a healthy environment: what role for dignity as a human rights value?Webster, E. & Morgera, E., 31 Aug 2021, In: Griffith Journal of Law and Human Dignity. 9, 1, 36 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
Elaine Webster (Peer reviewer)2021
Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work types › Journal peer review