Alan Desmond

Telephone +44 (0)116 252 2350

Personal details

BCL, LLM, PhD (NUI, Cork), Fellow HEA

I joined the Law School in September 2016. Before coming to Leicester I taught at third-level institutions in Ireland, Italy and Poland and spent time as a Visiting Researcher at the University of Warsaw, Harvard Law School and UCLA School of Law. Before entering legal academia I worked as a freelance print and broadcast journalist and wrote a number of award-winning Irish language books.


My research interests lie broadly in the field of immigration law as it intersects with human rights law, international law and EU law. I am particularly interested in migrant exceptionality, namely, the ways in which states and courts attenuate the protection potential of human rights law in relation to non-citizens. The focus of my current research is on regularisation of irregular migrants and future prospects for the protection of migrants’ rights within (or without) the international system for human rights protection.


  • “The Return Directive” in R. King & K. Kuschminder, eds., Handbook of Return Migration (forthcoming, Edward Elgar, 2021).
  • “A New Dawn for the Human Rights of International Migrants? Protection of Migrants’ Rights in Light of the UN’s SDGs and Global Compact For Migration” (forthcoming 2020) International Journal of Law in Context.
  • “Out of Crisis Comes Opportunity: Reconsidering Regularisation of Irregular Migrants in the EU in light of COVID-19” (2020) UNESCO Chair on International Migration Policy Brief Series.
  • “A Fresh Look at Familiar Problems: Proposals for Reform of the UK Immigration and Asylum System” (2019) 38(4) Civil Justice Quarterly 503 – 509.
  • With B. Ryan: submission of evidence to EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee of the House of Lords on future UK-EU asylum cooperation featured in Brexit: refugee protection and asylum policy (48th Report, Session 2017-19, HL Paper 428).
  • “The Private Life of Family Matters: Curtailing Human Rights Protection for Migrants under Article 8 of the ECHR?” (2018) 29(1) European Journal of International Law 261 – 279. doi:10.1093/ejil/chy008
  • Shining New Light on the UN Migrant Workers Convention (editor) (Pretoria: Pretoria University Law Press, 2017). Available online
  • “The Development of a Common EU Migration Policy and the Rights of Irregular Migrants: A Progress Narrative?” (2016) 16(2) Human Rights Law Review 247 - 272. doi. 10.1093/hrlr/ngw012
  • With A. Wiesbrock & T. Jöst, “Directive 2014/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the conditions of entry and stay of third-country nationals for the purpose of employment as seasonal workers” in K. Hailbronner & D. Thym, eds., EU Immigration and Asylum: A Commentary, 2nd Edition, (Munich/Oxford: Beck/Hart, 2016), 928 – 973. ISBN: 978-3-406-66653-7
  • “Regularization in the EU and the US: The Frequent Use of an Exceptional Measure” in D. Acosta & A. Wiesbrock, eds., Global Migration: Old Assumptions, New Dynamics (Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2015), 69 – 99. ISBN: 978-1-4408-0422-9

Full publication list pdf file

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