Bernard Ryan


Professor of Migration Law

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3595

Personal details

  • BCL (University College Dublin), PhD (European University Institute)

I am Professor of Migration Law. I am also co-chair of the Migration and Law Network, which promotes migration law as a field of study in British universities.

My teaching and research covers many aspects of migration law and policy, including

  • the law relating to border control
  • the rights of foreign nationals
  • the implications of migration for employment law


I am on study leave for the 2016–2017 session.



My research interests cover the field of migration law and policy. I am especially interested in the following:

  • the inter-relationship of labour migration and the law
  • International law relating to migration
  • the legal framework relating to irregular migration
  • the implications of diversity for migration law and policy

I am currently engaged in a research project entitled ‘re-imagining employment law in a time of migration’. To support this project, I hold a British Academy fellowship for the academic year 2016-2017.

My current research also covers the implications of Brexit for immigration and nationality law and policy, including its impacts on current EU residents and on border control.

External activity

In recent years, my external work has included commenting on the following:

  • The migration crisis in Europe, including articles for The Conversation on the Dublin Regulation and the situation in Calais
  • The implications of Scottish independence for immigration and nationality. In September 2012, I gave evidence law to a House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry on these subjects:


  • Chapters on the Frontex Regulation and Sea Borders Regulation in Kay Hailbronner and Daniel Thym (eds), EU Immigration and Asylum Law: A Commentary (2nd edition, 2016, Beck/ Hart)
  • ‘Employer Checks of Immigration Status and Employment Law’ in Cathryn Costello and Mark Freedland (eds), Migrants at Work (2014, Oxford University Press)
  • ‘At the Borders of Sovereignty: Nationality and Immigration Policy in an Independent Scotland’, (2014) 28 Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law 146-164 [link to full text]
  • With Virginia Mantouvalou: ‘The Labour and Social Rights of Migrants in International Law’ in Ruth Rubio Marin (ed), Human Rights and Immigration (2014, Oxford University Press)
  • ‘In Defence of the Migrant Workers Convention: Standard-Setting for Contemporary Migration’ in Satvinder Juss (ed), The Ashgate Research Companion to Migration Theory and Policy (2013, Ashgate), pp 491-515 [link to full text]
  • ‘Transnationalism and Labour Law: The ‘British Jobs’ Protests of 2009’ in Marie-Ange Moreau (ed), Before and After the Economic Crisis: What Implications for the ‘European Social Model’? (2011, Edward Elgar)
  • ‘Extraterritorial Immigration Control: What Role for Legal Guarantees?’ in Bernard Ryan and Valsamis Mitsilegas (eds), Extraterritorial Immigration Control: Legal Challenges (2010, Martinus Nijhoff), pp 3-37
  • ‘Integration Requirements: A New Model in Migration Law’ (2008) 22 Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law 303-316
  • 'The Evolving Legal Regime on Unauthorized Work by Migrants in Britain' (2005) 27 Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 27-58
  • ‘The Celtic Cubs: The Controversy over Birthright Citizenship in Ireland’ (2004) 6 European Journal of Migration and Law 173-193
  • ‘The Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland’ (2001) 64 Modern Law Review 855-874


PhDs: I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students in the field of migration law.

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