Fiona McGaughey

Started at UWA: 2016

Educator and researcher

My teaching and research reflect my passion for human rights. Senior Lecturer Dr Fiona McGaughey

I am originally from Northern Ireland and grew up during the period of conflict known as ‘the Troubles’ and this undoubtedly led to my interest in international human rights law. I worked in the private sector for a number of years as a management consultant before moving into human rights and equality-related work in the semi-state and not-for-profit sectors in both Ireland and Australia.

I teach in the Master of International Law and the Law and Society major. I have a wide range of research interests and use socio-legal methods. My key interests at present are international human rights law and the UN system, Australia’s Modern Slavery Act, and research related to teaching and higher education.

Human rights remain under threat globally. Recent developments such as COVID-19 and the effects of climate change on human life pose significant challenges for our discipline.

I love the enthusiasm, energy and critical inquiry of our students. I love having academic freedom to pursue my research interests. Being able to contribute to national and international debates on human rights and modern slavery and building the next generation of problem solvers and critical thinkers is a privilege.


  • LLB (Hons) Queens’ University Belfast
  • MA (Human Rights) Curtin University
  • PhD UWA


Awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy 2021

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UWA Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education Teaching Excellence Award 2020

UWA Teaching Excellence Award 2020

Curtin University Excellence and Innovation in Teaching (Team Award) 2014



What funding have you received?

UWA Faculty Collaboration Award for research on 'Better business and legislative responses to modern slavery' for a team at UWA and the University of Leeds.

Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) funding with colleagues around the world for research into the effect of COVID19 on academic and student wellbeing.

What projects are you currently involved with?
  • A few modern slavery-related projects, including: 'Better business and legislative responses to modern slavery' UWA, University of Leeds & HEC Canada.
    • Two publications pending.
  • Australia and the United Nations Human Rights Council: Paths to Influence with Professor Amy Maguire (University of Newcastle),  funding application pending but we have published on this already, so probably still valid.
  • Worldwide University Network: The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of academics and students around the world: Survey.
    • Two publications pending.