Dr Noreen O'Meara

Associate Professor (Reader), Human Rights, European and Environmental Law. Co-director: Surrey Centre for International and Environmental Law (SCIEL).
+44 (0)1483 683162
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Noreen O'Meara is Associate Professor (Reader) of Human Rights, European and Environmental Law. She read Law at the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and UCL (LLM (Public Law) and did her PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. She has also completed non-degree studies at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Université Paris-1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and RADA. She previously worked as a Research Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), and in practice at the European Commission's Legal Service and the Court of Justice of the European Union (cabinet, Advocate General Sharpston). Her work focused on infringement actions against Member States and cases in a broad range of areas, including data protection, taxation, environmental law and extradition. 

At the University of Surrey, she has focused her research on Human Rights and European Law, particularly on aspects of EU Criminal Law and Environmental law, and on the evolution of human rights protection in Europe. Against that background, her current projects focus on aspects of judicial co-operation, human rights and the environment, and environmental pollution.

Noreen is co-director of the School of Law’s newest research centre, the Surrey Centre for International and Environmental Law (SCIEL) which launched in May 2020. She leads and researches on a range of projects hosted at the Governing Plastics Network on the law and governance of plastics pollution, funded by UKRI/GCRF, AHRC, EPSRC and UGPN. She is also PI on two British Academy projects, collaborating with UCD (School of English, Drama and Film) and St Andrews (School of Classics) exploring aspects of rights, trade and the environment. A further current project explores strategies for tackling fake news and online misinformation in the context of vaccine hesitancy in the G7, also funded by the British Academy.

In 2020, Noreen was a Sutherland Fellow (UCD), and previously held visiting positions at The Institute of European and Comparative Law (IECL, University of Oxford), iCourts (University of Copenhagen), University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. She is also a Visiting Associate Professor in Law at Stockholm University. From 2020-2023, she is on the Editorial Board of the Irish Journal of European Law.

Research interests

  • Human Rights
  • European Union Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Law of the ECHR
  • Courts and Judicial Reform

Departmental duties


  • Inner Temple
  • The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
  • UCD Earth
  • Irish Society of European Law
  • UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA)
  • Bar European Group (BEG)
  • Council of European Studies (CES)


Selected Publications:

O’Meara, N. ‘Human Rights Protection through the lens of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the ECHR’ (forthcoming in K. Ambos and P. Rackow (eds.) Cambridge Companion to European Criminal Law (CUP 2023)).

O'Meara, N. 'Tackling the Plastics Pollution Crisis through the Single-Use Plastics Directive: context, scope and implementation challenges' (2020) 25(6) Env. Liability 235.

O'Meara, N. 'Extradition through the Lens of Brexit: The UK, Ireland and Future Prospects' (2020) 22 IJEL 47. 

Adams, N., O'Meara, N. and McCarthy, D., 'The Joint Enterprise Appeals Project: a crucible for student empowerment and activism?' in Student Empowerment in Higher Education (Logos Verlag 2020).

O'Meara, N. 'Lisbon, via Stockholm, Strasbourg and Opinion 2/13: prospects for citizen-centred protection of fundamental rights?' in D. Kostakopoulou and N. Ferreira (eds.) The human face of the European Union: Is EU law and policy humane enough? (CUP 2016).

O'Meara, N. 'Reforming the European Court of Human Rights: The Impacts of Protocols 15 and 16 ECHR' in E. Wicks, L. Hodson and K. Ziegler, The UK and the European Court of Human Rights - a strained relationship? (Hart 2015).

Dzehtsiarou K., Konstadinides T., Lock T., and O'Meara N. (eds.) Human Rights Law in Europe: The influence, overlaps and contradictions of the EU and the ECHR (Routledge 2014), 256p. ISBN: 9780415825993.

Dzehtsiarou K. and O'Meara N. 'Advisory Jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights: A Magic Bullet for Dialogue and Docket-Control?' (2014) 34(3) Legal Studies 444.

Konstadinides T. and O'Meara N. 'Rebalancing Judicial Protection in Criminal Matters after Lisbon and Stockholm' in C. Murphy and D. Acosta Arcarazo (eds.) EU Security and Justice Law: After Lisbon and Stockholm (Oxford, Hart Publishing). ISBN: 9781849464222.

O'Meara N. 'More Secure Europe of Rights? The European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and EU Accession to the ECHR(2011) 12 GLJ 1813-1832.